Improve Your Follow-Up Emails

Follow-up emails are generally short, polite, and let the interviewer know you're still interested — and eagerly awaiting a reply. For many job seekers, they are very generic and easy for potential employers to overlook. Pave the way for your email to float to the top of the pile.

It starts with your interview

It's not uncommon for interviewers to ask about your extracurriculars. Whether this is simple small talk or a way to suss out more about you, you can use this opportunity to create a memory jog for them later.

For example, let's say you are really committed to animal rescue and volunteering. You might have even found this job opportunity through friends made while volunteering. Perhaps one of your Flipdeck cards used for networking has information about the shelter at which you volunteer in addition to your career goals.

Jog their memory

If your interview conversation touched upon your passion for animals (maybe you and the interviewer have a mutual love of Labradors), briefly mention it in your follow-up email.

"Hi Scott,
Thank you again for your time and consideration for the Marketing Manager position. I really enjoyed our chat about animal rescue as well! It was so wonderful to learn you have a rescue lab too. I'll follow up with a call next week, as I know you're very busy.

Forbes says this kind of reminder about who you were — and the connection you and the interviewer made — is critical to getting a callback. We've mentioned the importance of writing about yourself in an interesting and genuine way, showing the human side of you and your authentic personality. After all, in a sea of applicants with matched abilities, the way you handle yourself — plus your hobbies and interests — can help differentiate you from the others.

Be timely, succinct, and professional

In addition to capitalizing on any shared interests, Forbes also encourages the following tactics:

  • Send a follow-up within 24 hours of the interview
  • Re-cap why you're interested and a good fit — but be succinct
  • Proofread! (or have a friend proofread)

Remember, it's generally considered OK to call your interviewer if a week goes by and you haven't received a response via email — but be sure to defer to any specific follow-up instructions given to you at your interview.

Bonus tip: let your references know

In addition to writing an effective follow-up email, give your references a heads up that you've applied for the job (and a little background on it) so they're not caught off guard if a recruiter calls. This puts them in a better position to show you in your best light, and you'll look like a solid candidate all around.

Crafting an effective follow-up email doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply show your interviewer that you care enough to take the time to send a courteous, personable, professional email.

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