Purposeful Follow-ups

Purposeful Follow-ups

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.


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