How Often Should You Follow-up After an Interview?

how long to wait to follow upFollowing-up after an interview is a crucial step that many people neglect to do. The follow-up is another chance you get to keep your name in their mind and set yourself apart from your competition. The follow-up contact shows you are interested, organized  and eager to work for them. If done right, it will definitely increase your chance of getting a job in Buffalo & WNY.

Your first method of contact should be a Thank You letter. A simple Thank You goes a long way in the work world. It shows courtesy, kindness and respect; all things that are important when developing a relationship. Whether you’ve realized it or not, everyone that you’ve come in contact with during your Buffalo job search is a mini-relationship. Developing a relationship with a potential employer is one of the best activities you can do since in Buffalo everyone seems to know everyone, and if it doesn’t work out at one employer, you can use your network of contacts to transfer more smoothly to a new position. Just because you didn’t get a job at one employer doesn’t mean all is negative. They might have had an internal person in-mind but legally had to do interviews. Don’t get mad, there’s nothing you can do so for each interview you have, use it as a networking opportunity and take advantage of the fact that in Buffalo, everyone is connected.

A thank you letter should definitely be sent within two days (next day is best) of an interview and by email. You can also send it through the regular post office, which will put something physical in the employer’s hand and will set you apart from the dozens of emails they get (small businesses appreciate the handwritten one’s the most). Just make sure that it’s legible and on nice, bond paper like resume paper. You can send it by both email and snail mail if you want. This tactic covers your bases on all fronts. Your thank you letter should be short and to the point.

At the end of the interview it’s a good idea to establish a time and method (phone, email, in-person) of contact so you can contact the employer regarding your status at a convenient time. The thank you letter is to just say thank you for the opportunity you were given, reiterate your strengths and should be done within 2 days after the interview. The post interview follow-up is where you contact your employer to discuss the next step of the hiring process. Your post interview follow-up should be around 7-10 days later. If you already established a time to get in contact with the recruiter, it’s OK to reference this in the last paragraph of your thank you letter.

Sticking to the 7-10 day follow-up schedule is a great way to make sure you are constantly in the mind of the recruiter without becoming a pest, and since job hunting is basically an unpaid sales position, don’t forget the ABC’s of any sales position–Always Be Closing. As in, always be trying to close the deal and get hired whenever you speak with the employer. Getting hired is the only reason you are doing all this work so make it known that you do in fact want the job.

Follow-Up Schedule:

1-2 days after the interview – Send Thank You Letter

7-10 days – Contact the employer and ask about the next step in the hiring process or if they have decided on a candidate. Ask what to expect in the next few weeks so you’re not standing idle waiting for them.

14-20 days – Follow up again by email or phone and touch base with them. Keep the 7-10 day follow-up schedule until you get to the next step in the hiring process.

Remember, you may not get the job even with sending a thank you letter, but you certainly hurt your chances if you don’t send one. View the Sample Thank You Letter for these ideas in practice.

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