The importance of follow-ups

Follow-ups are also part of job hunting etiquette, and are good practice.

The follow-up letter - A follow-up Thank You letter after a job interview is a way of showing good etiquette, as well as a way of keeping yourself visible to the employer while making the decision about the job.

Follow-up phone call - In cases where you've received assistance from a contact, or other services, or are thanking interviewers or HR for their help, a follow-up phone call is a good way of maintaining the contact and having a quick chat.

Follow-up email - A follow-up email is often the preferred method for some people, particularly online, and it's another visible reminder to the contact.

Follow-up in person - This should only be done when appropriate. If it's OK to do so, a quick visit to a contact is often a good idea, because some people are better face-to-face communicators than in writing or on the phone. If you know the contact well, and you're sure the visit isn't intrusive, it's often a good follow-up.

When doing your follow-ups:

  • Be brief. A quick note or message is enough.
  • Be professional. Make sure you present well when following up.
  • Be polite. This is a social obligation, not an optional extra. Always be polite.

The big 'don'ts' in follow-ups

  • Don't present yourself in any negative way.
  • Don't appear unreasonable or unreceptive to information.
  • Don't become a nuisance. Don't be overly persistent or too frequent in your follow-ups.
  • Don't waste anybody's time on irrelevancies. Stay on topic, keep things businesslike.
  • Don't expect instant results from follow-ups.

Managing your follow-ups

You need to be selective and productive with your follow-ups, as well.

  • Make sure you're not making follow-up contacts on an unrealistic basis, in terms of expectations.
  • Allow the contact time to do what they're supposed to be doing.
  • Be patient, whatever the circumstances.

Follow-ups can be valuable job hunting tools. Used properly, you can control your information sources very effectively and remain a player in a job search.