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Five Follow-Up Emails Not to Write

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follow-up email mistakes

Summary: Waiting for communication from a job you applied or interviewed for requires patience and understanding when you compose follow-up emails to check on the status of the position.

Waiting for a follow-up on an interview or job offer has you at the edge of your seat with every phone call or new email notification. While you are anxiously waiting for some word to reach you about the desired position, it is important not to become pushy for information. When the date has passed that the hiring manager said they would get back to you by, don’t become demanding in your follow-up email. Follow these tips on how to write a good follow-up note with tact and politeness so you won’t sound rude.

  1. You have not gotten back to me yet.” When job searching you have to be bold and able to sell your talents. Following-up is not the right time to display these personality traits. Instead, offer a way to provide more information. If you are waiting for a job interview, send a note confirming that they received your application material and see if they would like additional materials by stating something like “I am very excited about the available position and would like to confirm that my application materials were received. Please let me know if I can send any more information that would assist you.” If you are waiting to hear back after an interview, follow the same reasoning and offer any additional material if they need it. Show that you want to continue the conversation by doing what you can to help.
  2. You said you would let me know by Monday but it is now Tuesday.” Now you are accusing the hiring manager of not keeping their word. You have to understand that there are things you don’t understand about their hiring process. They may be waiting for the final authorization papers to hire you to come through but with a note like this, they may rethink hiring you. Even if they said they would let you know by a certain day, give them a few more days before freaking out. After four days have passed, write a simple and friendly note like “I look forward to learning what the next steps may be.”
  3. I would like some kind of response.” Be honest with yourself. You don’t want any response. You want a response that the hiring process will be moving forward, applications are under review, etc. As kindly as you can ask, write “Is it possible to get an update on the where the hiring process is a? Thanks.”
  4. I am very disappointed that I never got a response.” You don’t need to put the hiring manager on a guilt trip. It is frustrating to never get a response after submitting an application or having an interview but it is best to move on instead of getting bitter. Sending an angry message can hurt future opportunities with the company by showing you don’t know how to be professional. You have to consider that fact the hundreds of people can apply for positions and even expecting them to respond to a fraction of that number is unrealistic. If you feel that absolutely need to write something to them, say “I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the company and would love to be used a possible candidate for any other positions that may open up so please keep in touch.”
  5. I have another job offer so I need to know your decision.” It is hard to know what to do when some companies take longer to evaluate candidates during their hiring process. If you receive an offer for another position that isn’t your first choice, use that when you follow-up. If you have already had an interview that you thought went very well, write them a note saying “I am very excited about this position however I have received another offer that I must respond to by Monday. The position with your company is my first choice so I was hoping you might have a timeframe of when you are making a decision. Thank you.”


Five Follow-Up Emails Not to Write by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin