Home / Career Advice / Job Hunting / How to Follow Up With a Recruiter
Job Hunting

How to Follow Up With a Recruiter

Female young professional sitting at a desk typing an email to a recruiter on a laptop next to a stack of books

When you’re searching for a job, communicating effectively with recruiters can make all the difference in securing your dream position. Following up with a recruiter promptly and professionally is a necessary step in the job application process to showcase your enthusiasm for and commitment to the role.

Now, I’ll openly confess that despite your best efforts to be accessible and communicate openly, recruiters won’t always return the favor. But don’t let that be a distraction from what’s most important—your personal and professional goals and objectives. If you do the right things consistently, success will follow—I not only believe that, but I’ve witnessed great outcomes for thousands of job seekers with my own eyes.

In this post, I’ll share when to initiate contact with a recruiter, why it’s important, and how to do it effectively.

When to follow up with a recruiter

Time is of the essence when it comes to following up with a recruiter. While you don’t want to appear impatient or overly persistent, you also don’t want to miss opportunities. When in doubt about whether you should reach out, I always recommend doing it. When it comes to communication, more is almost always better than less. Here are some key instances when it’s appropriate to follow up.

After submitting an application

When you apply for a job, it’s reasonable to expect an acknowledgment or confirmation email from the recruiter or company. If you have yet to receive any confirmation after a week, it’s a good time to follow up. It’s an opportunity to ensure your application was received and is under consideration.

After an interview

Once you’ve had an interview–either a phone screen, video, or face-to-face—it’s important to follow up promptly. Ideally, you should send a handwritten note and thank-you email within 24 hours to express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. If you haven’t heard back within the time frame specified during the interview, I recommend reaching out every two or three business days for a status update.

This is a good point to share the importance of ending every exchange with a recruiter (a call, interview, etc) by asking them to provide an exact timeframe for the next step. If they aren’t able to give you a solid date, ask how soon you should reach out if you haven’t heard back.

After networking events

Following up is essential if you’ve connected with a recruiter at a networking event or career fair. Express your appreciation for their time and emphasize your interest in the opportunities you discussed. You can also remind them of the key points of your conversation to help them match your face with your name. This proactive approach can help keep you on the recruiter’s radar.

Reasons to follow up with a recruiter

Following up with recruiters isn’t just a formality; it’s an opportunity to reinforce your candidacy and demonstrate your genuine interest in the position (or positions) they have available. Here are some compelling reasons to be proactive.

Reiterate your enthusiasm

A follow-up message allows you to express your continued enthusiasm for the position. As a recruiter, there’s nothing better than a candidate who is genuinely interested in the position, and the act of texting, emailing, or calling to check in is a great way to express it. Reinforce why you are a perfect fit for the role, emphasizing your skills and qualifications. This can be particularly helpful if there were specific points you wished to elaborate on during the interview but didn’t get to cover.

Seek feedback

If you’ve had an interview but haven’t received an offer, use the follow-up as an opportunity to ask for constructive feedback. Politely inquire about areas for improvement or insights that can help you in future interviews. This shows your commitment to personal and professional development, which helps create a positive impression. 

Confirm your application status

After submitting an application, it’s common to wonder about the status of your candidacy. Following up allows you to inquire about the progress of the hiring process to get clarity on whether you are still under consideration or if the position has been filled.

Express gratitude

A simple thank-you can go a long way. Use your follow-up as an opportunity to express your gratitude for the recruiter’s time and consideration. A short handwritten note or genuine thank-you email after an interview can set you apart from other candidates and keep your name at the top of the recruiter’s mind.

How to follow up with a recruiter

Now that we’ve covered the when and why let’s explore how to follow up with a recruiter. Crafting a thoughtful and professional follow-up message can significantly impact the recruiter’s perception of you. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Begin with a thank you message

I encourage everyone to send an old-fashioned in the mail (it’s still a thing – I promise), but you need to send an email following any live interaction at the very least.

2. Be prompt

Timeliness is crucial. Send your follow-up email quickly, ideally within 24 to 48 hours of the relevant event, whether it’s submitting an application, attending an interview, or networking.

3. Personalize your message

Avoid generic templates. Even the ones we offer below should be customized to fit your situation and incorporate your natural voice. 

Personalize your follow-up email by referencing specific details from your interaction, such as mentioning a particular point discussed during the interview or expressing excitement about a project the recruiter mentioned. 

4. Keep it concise

Recruiters are often busy, so keep your follow-up concise and to the point. Respect their time by clearly stating the purpose of your email and ensuring it’s easy to read.

5. Showcase your value

Reiterate the skills and qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the position. Emphasize how your unique strengths align with the company’s needs and cite relevant background experience that has positioned you for success.

6. Use a professional tone

Maintain a professional tone throughout your follow-up. Even if you feel a level of familiarity with the recruiter, remember that this is a professional interaction. Avoid overly casual language and double-check for any grammatical errors.

7. Express appreciation

Don’t forget to mention your gratitude for the opportunity and the recruiter’s time. A simple “thank you” can leave a positive impression and demonstrate your professionalism.

Sample email to follow up with a recruiter: post-application submission

Subject line: Application for [role] submitted

Dear [recruiter’s name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am sincerely grateful for the time you spent talking with me about [job title]. After considering it, I believe the role would be a great fit for my skills and that I’d make a strong addition to the company’s culture. I submitted my application on [date]. 

I’m very enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the team and am happy to answer any further questions if needed. Please let me know if I can provide any additional materials to strengthen my candidacy. 

Thank you once again for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of contributing to the success of [company name].

Sincerely, 

[Your name]

Sample email to follow up with a recruiter: after phone screening

Subject line: Thank you for the call

Dear [recruiter’s name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today about the [job title] role. I enjoyed hearing about [specific detail] and think I could make a particularly meaningful impact doing [specific duty, project, task, etc.].

I would be excited to join the [company name] team and eagerly await information on the next steps. If I can provide any other information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [your phone number].

Best regards,

[Your name]

Sample email to follow up with a recruiter: after an event

Subject line: [Your name] following up

[Recruiter name],

It was great to meet you at [event name]. I enjoyed talking with you about [topic you discussed].

I would like to learn more about job openings with [company name]. I think my skills in [skill area] and experience with [specific experience] would make me a strong candidate for employment with the company. If you agree, let’s schedule a time to discuss opportunities that might be a good fit in more detail. 

You can reach me anytime at this email address or by phone at [your phone number]. I look forward to chatting with you.

Best,

[Your name]

Following up with a recruiter is an art that, when mastered, can significantly enhance your chances of securing the job you desire. Remember to be professional, timely, and thoughtful in your communication, and let your genuine enthusiasm for the position shine through.