How to Follow Up With a Recruiter

Written by Coursera • Updated on

You've spoken with a recruiter. Now what? Learn more about next steps you can take to set yourself up for job success.

[Featured Image] A person wearing a blue striped top and glasses follows up with a recruiter about a job opportunity.

Following up with a recruiter shows that you are serious about a role and value their time. Apply these tips to make a good impression on your recruiter when following up on a job application or interview status.

Set your intentions.

Communication is key when working with a recruiter. Establish the type of position you’re looking for. Include things like ideal work culture, salary range, company size, and the types of jobs you could take depending on your skill set. These details can narrow or broaden their search to find a good fit for you. You don’t want to waste your time on an interview for a job you’ll never take.

Reach out post-application.  

If you don’t hear anything from your potential employer within one to two weeks after submitting your application, it’s time to reach out to the recruiter. Following up with a recruiter is a smart move for many reasons, such as standing out as a candidate, expressing your gratitude, and showing that you’re interested in the role. 

After applying for a job, you’ll want to craft a purposeful letter when following up with your recruiter. Be clear and concise whether you’re following up via email, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform. An easy way to do this is to use a clear subject line, be professional, keep it brief, focus on your qualifications, and attach a copy of your resume for them to review. If you’re going to reach out to them by phone, be sure to contact them before the end of the day.

Start your letter by greeting your recruiter with their name, mentioning something from your previous conversation, restating your skills and qualifications, expressing your enthusiasm for the job, and thanking them for their time. Include a short paragraph with several defining details from your interview to make your follow-up effort more personal and stand out as a candidate for this role or future roles within the same organization.

If the company decides to move forward with you as a potential candidate, you’ll hear back from your recruiter to schedule an interview. The time this takes varies from company to company—it could take a few days, weeks, or even months if the position has a lot of candidates.

Avoid feeling like you have to wait for them to contact you and apply for other positions in the meantime. It’s good to have multiple interviews lined up, as more interviews mean more potential offers.

Thank them after the interview.

After a job interview, it’s recommended to send your recruiter a thank-you note no less than 24 hours later. This can be as simple as a quick email thanking them for their time, mentioning the interview, and expressing your excitement for the job.

Follow up after a job offer or rejection.

If you receive a job offer, congratulations! Expect also to receive a time frame in which you have to accept it to move forward in the hiring process. This is the time to consider if the position, pay, and benefits are within the parameters you had in mind. If they are, you can contact your recruiter to verbally accept the offer or follow their established processes for acceptance.

If the offer is close to what you were looking for, don’t be afraid to make a counteroffer—this is a common practice. You can negotiate your salary, benefits, or anything included in the offer. You’ll be committing a great deal of your time to the position, so make sure your compensation matches the effort and skills you’ll be bringing to the job. Sending an email is a good option for laying out your counteroffer; that way, the recruiter will know exactly what your terms are in an organized and documented format.

If you receive a rejection, your actions should remain the same. Simply keep applying and interviewing for other jobs. Don’t take the rejection personally—multiple people interview for the same position, making rejections more common than offers. Learn from your experience and approach your next interview with even more confidence.

No matter the result of your application, it’s a good idea to thank your recruiter. They’re more likely to keep you in mind for future job openings if you are cordial and gracious toward them despite facing rejection.

How should I follow up with a recruiter?

The method of contact you initially used with your recruiter should influence which method you choose to follow up. They'll likely be the same unless you learn your recruiter prefers to be contacted a different way. Be sure to ask, and always be mindful of their preferences. A good recruiter will advocate for the right, polite candidate. 

Write an email

Email tends to be the preferred method of contact for recruiters, and a well-redacted follow-up email can set you up for success. Use email as a way to build a professional relationship. 

Here is a simple list of discussion points to include that will help make your email stand out:

  1. Say hello and address the recruiter by their name.

  2. Include a detail you discussed during your previous conversation.

  3. Check the status of your application.

  4. Mention your excitement about the position.

  5. Keep your email brief and close out the message with gratitude.

Make a phone call.

You can encounter two different situations when making a follow-up phone call to your recruiter: either they’ll answer, or you’ll be directed to their voicemail.

If the recruiter answers, start with a greeting that includes your name and the job you’re applying for. Check the status of your application to determine if there is any additional information they’d like you to provide. If your recruiter has time to chat right then, it’s essential to follow their lead and have a few questions or talking points ready to avoid wasting their time. This is also a great moment to ask for a timeline of when they’ll reach out to potential candidates. Keep your conversation brief, and be sure to thank them for their time.

If you reach their voicemail, leave a message that includes your name, the job for which you’re applying, a reiteration of your interest in the role, and a closing that expresses your gratitude to the recruiter. Practice saying your voicemail aloud and keep things brief, as your recruiter probably has a busy schedule and many messages to sort through.

Connect on LinkedIn or other social media.

If you’re looking to follow up via social media, LinkedIn is your best option since it’s a professional platform. First, you’ll need to send your recruiter a request to connect on the platform, in which you can include a short, personalized message—this could result in a much higher acceptance rate.

Once your request has been accepted, send the recruiter another message thanking them for accepting your request. In this message, remind the recruiter of the position you're applying for and include a short blurb stating ways you believe you’d benefit the company if chosen. As with the rest of the follow-up methods discussed in this article, keep your message short and specific. Close the message with gratitude, and attach a copy of your resume.

Why you should follow up  

Following up with your recruiter keeps the lines of communication open so that you can get the best job offer possible and they can do their job more effectively. Consider these additional reasons to follow up.

It can help you stand out. 

Recruiters work with multiple positions that their employers want to fill as soon as possible. It may be a good idea to remind them that you are present and engaged. It makes their job a little easier when prioritizing their next candidate. They’ll also see you’re serious about working for their company or organization.

Being courteous and professional in all your interactions can create an opportunity for you to move up the hiring list.

It demonstrates your interest in the role.

Let your recruiter know which applications you are most enthusiastic about. This helps them select the best opportunities to send you. The opposite applies as well. Communicate which jobs do not pique your interest and give them the reasons as to why. Not only does it allow them to eliminate incompatible positions, but it also shows you’re interested and invested in their process.

You can express your gratitude.

It’s helpful to have a recruiter to help alleviate some of the pressure of job searching. Their assistance can help you channel more energy into representing your best skills and qualities. 

In the end, remember to thank your recruiter for being your advocate throughout the arduous process. Consider sending them a hand-written thank you note. Your recruiter will appreciate the gesture and have something physical to remember you.

Next steps

Looking for more tips to make your job search successful? Check out our Job Search Guide for tips on building new skills, writing your resume and cover letter, networking, interviewing, and more.

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