Updated: May 18
Easy steps for reaching out after an application, interview or networking. Learn best practices on how best to follow up after connecting with an employer or professional contact including what steps to take when you haven’t heard back.
Job Application follow up
Applying through handshake, an employers website or a job board can sometimes feel like sending your resume into a black hole. You hit submit, then wait and wonder. Here are 3 suggestions for follow up after you complete the application instructions.
1. Connect to the recruiter on LinkedIn:
Search by the person's name or company name on LinkedIn to try to find a hiring manager or recruiter for the organization or department you applied to. Send a connection request and include a note, which is limited to 300 characters.
Hello (name). I recently applied for the (position title) and also wanted to share my LinkedIn profile to show additional details about my skills and experience. I am excited about your opportunity and would like to connect with you with an interview. Thank you, (your name)
2. Email HR
Its hard to guess how quickly (or slowly) a company will move on sorting applications and offering interviews. To learn more about a job hiring timeline, visit the company website and look up contact information for Human Resources. Make a call or send an email but be cautious to ask only general information about their hiring process and not your status (which is often not shared).
I recently applied for the _________ position and I was inquiring to learn about the hiring timeline. Can you share information about when you expect to extend interview offers or an anticipated start date for the role?
3. Identify Lehigh alum working at the organization on Lehigh Connects
Visit go.lehigh.edu/lehighconnects to browse from thousands of Lehigh alum who have volunteered to support students during job and internship searches. There you can filter profiles by company name. If you find someone working for the company you applied to, reach out! See if they have any information about the job search, can share contact information for the person you could reach out to directly or other helpful information.
Hello (alumni name),
It was great to find your profile on Lehigh Connects as I have recently completed an application with your organization for (job title). I wasn’t sure when the hiring managers would be reviewing applications or extending interviews and I wondered if you have any details about that? If I wanted to follow up on my application do you have a suggestion and contact information for someone I could reach out to? Any advice would be helpful, waiting is always the hardest part.
Thank you for your time,
Interview Follow up
One of the easiest ways to follow up after an interview is to make sure you collect contact information at the interview. Ask for a business card or email address of everyone involved in the interview. If you forget to do this in person, stop by the company reception desk to see if they can share those details or look on the company website for an employee directory. You can also reach out via email to the person who scheduled your interview to request contact information for the interviewers.
Interview follow up should be done quickly, within 24-48 hours of the interview. Include your thanks for the opportunity to interview, something specific that you discussed during the interview, and stress your on-going interest in the position. Be sure to send individual notes to each person that participated in the interview process. Your note should be personal but professional and always error free. Take time to proofread before you send!
Example thank you message:
Dear (Interviewer’s name),
I wanted to reach out to you to let you know I had a great experience during my on-campus/virtual interview with you yesterday. As I learned more about your company it was easy to see how my career goals align with opportunities working in pharmaceuticals. I am very interested in working with your company after graduation so I can start putting my chemistry and laboratory skills to work. My background working with unique compounds and my interest in exploring medical applications for new formulas will be a great asset to your drug company and I would love to join your team. The drug research team you described sounds like a great fit for my interests and education. Thank you again for your time during my interview and I hope I have made just as strong of an impression with you as you did on me.
Networking Follow Up:
Networking follow up isn’t significantly different from interview or job application follow up. You can still connect on LinkedIn and send a thank you note after a meeting or message. But its worth staying in contact with networking connections over a period of time. Here are a few reasons you should reach back out to keep the conversation going.
1. Let them know you took their advice
After a conversation or meeting, often a networking contact with share some helpful advice. Perhaps they share a recommended contact for you to reach out to, suggest an article or book to read, refer you to an open position, website or other steps. After you take their advice, follow up to let them know how it went, your thoughts or the action you took. This tells them you value their information and respect their advice but it also may lead to other suggestions and next steps.
Dear (alumni name),
Thanks again for the phone call a couple weeks ago. Like you mentioned, I reached out to (referral name) to ask about…. I am hoping to meet with him/her soon so I can learn more. I also made those resume formatting changes you suggested and my resume is now ready for future applications. If you have any additional advice for my job search, please let me know as I continue to look for full-time positions.
2. Share an updated resume, improved GPA or your next career goals
If it has been a little while since you spoke, you can find a “reason” to contact them again when you have updates. Maybe you have information on a recent experience/class/skill, improved your GPA or made improvements to your resume. Share the milestone with them!
It's been a little while since we last spoke so I wanted to share a few updates with you. The fall semester went great, and I was proud to be awarded at 3.5 GPA and Dean’s list. This has already been updated on my resume, which also includes additional description of the projects I have been working on with the Baja SAE club. I am now focused on preparing for an internship search and hoped we could connect again about any advice or next steps you would suggest for me. Do you have time in the next week or two to talk more?
3. Non-responder follow up
Does this sound familiar? You sent a message on Lehigh Connects or LinkedIn but received no response from them. Take the initiative again and send a friendly follow up. Be sure you stress your on-going interest NOT annoyance that you haven’t heard back yet. Summarize the reason for your message, without repeating the original message and don’t forget your manners.
Example follow up message:
Dear (Alumni Name),
Hello again from Lehigh University! I wanted to touch base to see if you had a chance to review my previous message I sent on (date). I am still very interested in speaking with you, as I feel your advice would impact how I make a decision about (choosing a major/starting my job search/etc). Specifically, I was hoping you could answer a few questions regarding (add topic). If you would prefer to arrange a phone call, please let me know a couple times and dates that are open for you and I will confirm what time works best around my class schedule. You are also welcome to message me back on Lehigh Connects if that is easier.
Thanks again for volunteering on Lehigh Connects. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from an industry professional who also shares a Lehigh background.
Follow up is a part of the process
No matter how you do it, follow up is important. There is a saying “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” In other words, sometimes showing persistence, professionalism and sincere interest is a great way to draw attention to yourself. Make the effort to incorporate follow up into your job or internship search.