Congratulations!  You had a job interview.

Now the real work begins.

“What??”  You say.   “I already created a great resume for the job, I prepped like crazy, and I had a great chat with the hiring manager.  I’m waiting for them to call me with next steps.”

“What else can I do?”

The Job Search Follow Up You Need to Do, If You Actually Want the Job

Well, thank you notes are an obvious place to start.  (You’d be surprised, however, at how many people don’t do them, or don’t do them well.)

A thank you note should NOT be about you, and why you think the job would be a good fit for YOU and YOUR career goals.  It should be about THEM and why you think you can help THEM achieve their goals.

Not good:

Dear Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me about the Customer Success Manager position.  I think this would be a great next step in my career and allow me to build upon my sales experience to gain more expertise at a strategic level.  Your company’s culture and your prospects are very appealing to me, and I’m very interested in next steps.


Dear Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me about the Customer Success Manager position.  After hearing your goals for the role and the team, I’m confident that my strong sales acumen, ability to deeply connect with customers to create solutions, and experience leading large implementation projects will be a strong asset to your team.  At Tech Corp., I’ve brought a 35% increase in customer retention and a double-digit revenue increase, and I’d love to have a chance to demonstrate similar success for you. 

I have strong references who can speak to my professional track record and collaborative style; would you like me to send them to you?

Speaking of references…

Please don’t just hand over a list of names and hope for the best.

For each job that requests references, and each reference you offer, prep the reference before they get called.  “Here’s what the hiring manager cares about; here’s the role itself; here’s what I’d love for you to focus on when describing my skills.”    Obviously that’s a lot of work, so you wouldn’t do that for each job you apply to, only the ones for which you’re a serious contender.

But they haven’t called me back yet!!??!!!!

Here’s a great article from Rich Jones for TIME (originally posted on The Muse) about follow-up scripts.  It’s well done, so I recommend you check it out if you need to follow up with an employer who’s gone radio silent.

As a former recruiter, I loved their advice about tone:

-You respectfully ask for the update you want without putting the employer on the defensive by calling attention to the missed “deadline” or demanding an answer. (That never goes well.)

It’s fine to be frustrated about the lack of communication, but please don’t let that come across to the employer.

What else can I do?

Here are some other ideas of ways to engage and position yourself for the role, while you wait.

  • Follow the recruiter or hiring manager on Twitter (immediately upon returning from the interview)
  • Follow the company on LinkedIn (careful about your privacy settings)
  • Set up a Google Alert with the company’s name so you can be aware of the latest developments, should they call
  • Mine your LinkedIn contacts, if you haven’t already, to put in a good word for you
  • Think about what your 90 day plan might look like.  Set aside time to sketch out a draft, in the event you have the opportunity to have further conversations with the hiring team.
  • Get yourself ready for salary negotiations; research the value of the position in the marketplace if you can

See what I mean?  It’s not over when you leave the office (or conference room).  The end game is just as important as the beginning.