When to Follow Up

Every potential employer has a different process for how they move through applications and the hiring process. Still, having a general idea of when it’s appropriate to follow up will help you feel more confident as you go through the steps of getting hired. Following up on an appropriate timeline shows hiring managers that you’re serious about the position and have the tenacity to get the job done. Let’s take a look at what our experts have to say about if you should (or shouldn’t) follow up in these example scenarios.

“A recruiter told me that they had several upcoming positions that I would be a good fit for. It has now been over a month. Is it appropriate for me to follow up to see if there are any openings?”

Xavier, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, answers saying, “You should absolutely follow up with the recruiter. Recruiters are often communicating with multiple candidates and following up with them is a great way to stay connected and remain top of mind when opportunities arise. If a hiring manager reaches out to the recruiter with a need, the candidate that has consistently stayed in communication with them has a strong chance of being included in the conversation.” More from Xavier.

Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, adds, “I would absolutely follow up with the recruiter, especially if they opened the door saying that they had up and coming openings that would be ideal for you. When you do follow up, I would also suggest politely digging in a bit more if possible—when do they expect roles to open up, when would it be OK to follow up again, what types of roles are expected, etc. This will help you know how or when to contact them again in the future.” More from Mike.

“It's been a week since my interview now but none of my references have been called. I thought references are usually contacted right away. Should I follow up?”

Alyssa, Hiring Expert at Quest Diagnostics, explains, “There could be a number of reasons why the company may have a delay in providing an update. One possibility is that the company could still be interviewing other applicants before conducting their final reference checks. I would recommend you follow up with the recruiter, thanking them again for the opportunity, and asking if they need anything else from you before their decisions are made.” More from Alyssa.

Sanda, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, says, “About a week post-interview is a great time to reach out and re-iterate your interest. Thank the team, and inquire about when to expect word on the status of your candidacy. This can lead to learning more about the timeline expectation and what's to come.” More from Sandra.

When it comes to the hiring process, waiting can be the hardest part. If you haven’t heard back after a week, Patricia, Hiring Expert at ADP, says, “There’s nothing wrong with sending a follow-up email to your recruiter requesting an update. Processes such as approvals or verifications can take a little longer than we'd like. Be patient with your recruiter, I'm positive they'll appreciate it.” More from Patricia.

What questions do you have about your job search? Head to our homepage and click “Ask An Expert Now” to get real advice from top hiring experts.

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