Candidates: Master the Art of the Follow-Up

For Candidates


Candidates can get anxious when they have to wait for the status of a job that they really want. As ideal as it would be to receive an immediate response from the recruiter or hiring manager, it is not always feasible, and response time may depend on the amount of applicants applying for a given opportunity. However, keeping in mind simple follow-up tactics can benefit the candidate in the end – as long as it is done tactfully.


Things that make you go hmmm…

Before deciding to follow up on a position, it is important to keep in mind possible reasons as to why feedback has not been received. Here are a few reasons to consider:

  • The recruiter or hiring manager has not received feedback from their client or hiring authority, thus they have nothing to share.
  • The recruiter or hiring manager may currently be out of the office on business travel or vacation. Even in this day and age of technology, it is not always easy to respond in a timely manner. We still believe in being present when meeting with others, driving, etc.
  • No news is rarely good news. If you have not been asked to schedule an interview in over a month, chances are the position has been filled or the search is no longer a priority.

We asked President, Ben Farber to share a few of his favorite tips on how to follow up effectively when seeking a status update.

Follow up after one week via email.

Unless the recruiter or hiring manager gave a specific timeframe for following-up with them, more than once within a week can be too aggressive. Email the recruiter or hiring manager a week after you have submitted your resume to express a sincere interest in the position.

When following up, ask for a general timeline of the process. Although recruiters are often at the mercy of their client when it comes to scheduling, it is likely that the recruiter or hiring manager can provide a reasonable timeframe for when you will hear back regarding the next steps in the process.

Show interest through preparation and action.

As we just mentioned, the timing of the interview process can be unpredictable and depends solely on the employer. Nonetheless, it is important to be prepared in advance, in the event you are called upon to speak about yourself and what you bring to the table. Determine the sincerity of your interest in the role, company, location, compensation, etc. by discussing the opportunity with family and friends before you receive the good news call. Otherwise, the employer will pick-up on your hesitation or uncertainty during the interview process. This often leads to an automatic disqualification.

To elaborate further, here is a typical scenario. A candidate applies for a position that would require them to relocate. The candidate receives a call from the recruiter to schedule an interview, but the candidate is still unsure about committing to the process or has yet to tell their spouse about the opportunity. By the time that they circle back to schedule an interview, it may be too late. The employer has already locked in on an eager and prepared finalist who is set to interview in-person, and the tentative candidate is now on the back burner. May sound extreme, but this situation is more common than most executives realize.

Taking immediate action not only proves a strong interest in the role, but also suggests to the recruiter or hiring manager that the candidate is taking the process seriously and is ready to move at a moment’s notice.

All of which are qualities that hiring companies seek when hunting for the right candidate.

Be considerate when the recruiter or hiring manager follows up.

If the recruiter or hiring manager follows up with the candidate, it is crucial for the candidate to follow up in a respectable timeframe. Typically, responding within a 24-hour window is ideal. Naturally, life happens (vacations, health issues or just a busy week at work). At the very least, send a one sentence email confirming receipt of their message along with a notice that you will respond in detail as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the way a candidate corresponds throughout the process is a good sample for employers to gauge how well a candidate will respond on the job.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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