using multiple communication channels (e.g. email and LinkedIn and Twitter)
the rhythm or pattern with which you do something
How to follow up on one-way communications (job applications, pitches, emails)
Whether you’re doing the classic “submit my application” thing or being more impressive and sending a video cover letter
(AKA video pitch) to express your interest in the position at their company, this advice is the same.
Where to follow up on unanswered messages
Follow up via the same communication method—if you sent an email, follow up in that email thread (find the email and hit Reply). If you sent them a LinkedIn message, send another one. If you haven’t heard back after 2-3 follow-ups on the same platform, you can either switch to email, or use a different platform on which your target recipient seems active.
(Example: You’ve followed up 3 times on LinkedIn, and they haven’t responded. You see that they’re tweeted consistently in the past couple weeks, so you send them a Twitter DM or tweet at the directly.)
How soon to follow up on unanswered messages
Anytime you’re sending applications, pitches, and emails to someone, you should set a reminder to follow up with them if they don’t respond. Above all else, the rule of thumb for when is simple: the sooner you want that job, the sooner you follow up.
A fast cadence is following up every 2-3 days, while a slower cadence is every 4-7 days, sometimes even more. Which follow-up cadence you pick depends on:
- how quickly you’re trying to get hired,
- how quickly they want to fill the role,
- how many people they’re hiring for that role,
- how popular the company is,
- and more.
Let’s break it down.
If the company is super popular, they’re probably getting a lot of inbound attention. Therefore, waiting too long on an application/pitch could cause you to lose the chance. And, if they’re popular, they also might be drowning in applications and emails! Following up soon after your first reach-out is a great way to stay top-of-mind in a busy hiring manager’s day.
In fact, if they’re growing quickly, they’re probably hiring for several of the same role. This adds even more complexity, noise, and risk of losing your application in the mix of everything.
If they’re not looking to fill the role immediately, you can afford to space out your follow-ups. Use a slower cadence, to match their hiring pace. However, if they’re looking to fill the job quickly, it’s worth checking in sooner after your last reach-out.
Overall, use your best judgment and don’t worry about following up too soon—better too soon than too late. 😉
How to follow up on mutual exchanges (phone calls, virtual meetings, and job interviews)
Once you’ve had a phone call, meeting, or official interview, it’s safe to assume you’re on your potential employer‘s radar. With that said, it’s still important to stay top-of-mind and proactive about the opportunity to whatever extent you care about winning the offer.
The purpose of following up on calls, meetings, and interviews is to continue the conversation in a written format, reiterate anything you want to remember, show your excited about the opportunity, and share additional information—whatever was discussed in the exchange.
Make sure you're emailing everyone involved in your interview process, too. Cambria Davies
shares this great tip in her story about winning a role at HubSpot:
The Follow-Up Thank You Email That Got Me Hired One Week After the Interview
Interview? Check. Now it's time for the follow up thank you email. Here's how one candidate used this to secure the job.
How soon to follow up on calls and interviews
Follow up on mutual exchanges as soon as possible—typically within a few hours max. Let too much time pass, and you risk them forgetting the context of the conversation, or just seeing you as unorganized.
If the other person specifically asks you to follow up after the call, do it literally right after the call. The minute you say you’re going to follow up, the credibility clock is ticking. Don’t let it tick too long.
Where to follow up on calls and interviews
Use the channel on which you most recently communicated—if your last messages were email, follow up via email; if it was all on Twitter, follow up on Twitter; etc. The exception? If, on the call, they asked you to follow up with them in a specific way.
(Example: “Great call, Maxine! I’m excited to continue this conversation. Can you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?” ← In this case, of course you should email them, even if the conversation previously happened elsewhere.)