First, you must understand that follow-up emails are completely necessary. Research has proven that only roughly 26% of recruiters actually read cover letters, but people still write them because there is still a chance that the cover letter will set you apart from other candidates.
We spoke to our Jopwell recruiters and the recommendation is that you should always follow up if you don’t hear from an employee at least a week after your initial interview. "Thank you" emails are pretty standard, but the art of the follow-up email is what can make or break your opportunities. You never know the reason you didn’t receive a follow-up, sometimes people are busy, sometimes internal circumstances have changed. Understand that it’s totally fair for you to want a direct answer or reasoning as to why there’s a delay or a rejection.
The interview process, although sometimes tedious, is very intricately and personally developed by every company. Every company has its own way of doing things and it’s important to know that you are going to have differences in each process, which is why it’s important for you to stay consistent in how you navigate the job interview process. There isn’t clear data that proves that follow-up emails have oftentimes led to employment, but Jopwell experts have said that it “never hurts” and the rule of thumb should be to always follow up. However, there is a proper way to create a solid follow-up email and we’re going to share some tips on how.
Maybe your nerves got the better of you and you forgot to say something about your past job experience that’s super important for them to have known. Or maybe you didn’t answer one of their questions the way you intended. There are so many unpredictable circumstances that can disrupt the perfect interview that you initially intended on having. Sometimes a simple follow-up can help solve some of the bumps you encountered and can even ease your anxiety about some hiccups you might’ve had. Just know, that even if they don’t respond, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t and won’t read your message.
Make sure you reintroduce why you are applying to the role. Talk about how you are eager to continue to interview process and thank them for taking time out of their day to meet with you to discuss the opportunity.
Be clear and concise when writing the follow-up email. But also make sure you are honest.
Be descriptive here. “I’m reaching out to you because…”
It’s OK to say that you were very interested in the role and wanted to get a status update on your application. Be honest about what you are looking for so that you can get a direct answer. They’ve probably interviewed several people with qualifications as well, so it doesn’t hurt to mention why you feel like you are qualified for the position.
Not all roles get an assignment during the process. If this is before the “homework” segment of the process, try sharing a few ideas that you can bring to the company to show the value of your work. Your resume is definitely a representation of who you are on paper, but raw ideas can spark inspiration and perhaps show that you can take initiative. It also tells the hiring manager that you are proactive and have already been thinking about what your role would entail while showing them what your first few days/weeks on the job would look like if you were hired.
Reiterate that you are looking forward to connecting with them and continuing the conversation. Be sure to leave your LinkedIn profile or website/portfolio—if you have one—underneath your signature so they can have a refresh of who you are and materials to look at.
Again, follow-up emails do not guarantee employment results, but they can sometimes bring more attention to what you have to offer. Before you begin any interview process, remember that you are just what is written on your resume. Make sure your communication is authentic to you, honest, and informative for the best results.
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