Follow-up is a part of the job search that many job seekers feel uncomfortable with, especially when they constantly hear about the importance of following-up but just don’t know what follow-up actions would be appropriate and effective. Earlier, we talked about the general guidelines on the etiquettes and timing of follow-ups. Today, let’s clear up some common confusion job seekers have about follow-ups.
Purposes of a follow-up
Let’s start with thinking about the purposes of follow-ups. What are you trying to achieve? If the goal of your follow-up is not clear to you, you could easily feel lost as to what the most appropriate follow-up might be. Here are the top reasons why you want to do a follow-up:
- Showing interest
- Detecting interest
- Showing appreciation
- Fulfilling a promise
- Making a request
- Providing new information
- Seeking new information
- Asking about the next step
You should ALWAYS follow up. Every follow-up is unique because your interaction with a contact or an employer was unique. Decide the purpose of each follow-up based on your interaction. Sometimes a follow-up has one single purpose, such as to show your contact appreciation after she makes an introduction for you. Other times a follow-up might have multiple purposes, such as
- thanking a hiring manager for the meeting,
- showing your interest in a position,
- providing information you may have forgotten during the interview,
- further demonstrating your match, and
- asking about the next step.
Once you clearly know what you’d like to achieve with your follow-up, you will naturally gain clarity in how to have the most appropriate and purposeful follow-up to generate the results you’re looking for.