Congrats. You had the job interview. Now, your work is done, right? Wrong.
In today’s hypercompetitive job market, effective follow-up after the interview is a must, and failing to do it well might cause you to lose out to another candidate.
The line between being persistent and being a pain, however, is blurry at best. So to help you sort things out, I sent a query to my colleagues in the careers world — recruiters, career coaches, hiring managers and CEO’s — asking for their best follow-up advice.
I received more than 60 responses on topics ranging from thank you notes to handling rejection. Here’s a summary of their 10 best tips:
The Thank-You Note
On this point, everyone agreed: A thank-you note is a must. Most of the pros recommended you send one via email within 24 hours of the interview. Several suggested a handwritten card as a supplement when a personal or creative touch might be especially valued.
But if you really want to stand out, you need to do more than just say “thanks for your time.” The experts suggested these techniques to make your thank-you note shine:
Reference an article of interest. Include in the note a relevant article, link or book recommendation relating to a topic that was discussed during the interview. It’s a value-add for the interviewer and will reinforce your industry expertise.
To really make an impact, Jene Kapela, a South Florida-based leadership coach, says you should write a blog post on a topic discussed during the interview and then share the link to the post in your thank-you note.
Include supporting documentation that illustrates your ability to do the job. You don’t want to overwhelm the interviewer, but adding one or two carefully-curated examples of your work (non-confidential work samples, press mentions, etc.) can be a smart way to show off your expertise.
“It helps show you are the real deal,” says Tyson J. Spring, head of New Business & Strategy for Elever Professional, an Austin, Texas recruiting firm.
Provide a follow-up response to one of the key interview questions. Ever draw a blank or give a less than stellar response during a job interview? Use your note to modify, correct or amplify one of your responses.
Todd Cherches , CEO of BigBlueGumball, a New York City-based management consulting and coaching firm, offers this example:
When you asked me about my single greatest accomplishment in my last job, I apologize that I drew a blank. However, immediately after leaving, it hit me that I should have mentioned I was voted the top salesperson in my department for 2013, and proudly received a special recognition award at my company’s year-end national convention. Continue reading…