Job Interview Challenge: What to Do When the Trail Goes Cold

How-to-Write-High-Converting-Emails-in-15-Minutes-or-LessThe job hunt is full of many frustrating delays.

Even if you blast through the basic frustrations such as finding the right job, writing a compelling resume and crafting an effective cover letter, you can still get hung up on someone else’s schedule: the busy HR manager.

I experienced this myself in the course of my career. I went through a great set of interviews and received positive feedback from the position’s supervisor and the HR manager. We even discussed salary ranges, which is usually a good sign that an offer is near.

But right before contacting my references… the trail went cold.

If you’re ever in this position, here are three email templates you can use to follow up at reasonable intervals to stay on the HR manager’s radar:

Follow-Up Template #1: First Contact

Hello HR Manager,

I hope you’ve enjoyed a productive week!

I thought I’d check in to make sure that you have received everything you need from me– please know I would be delighted to answer any questions you have about my references or resume. I look forward to hearing from you!


Job Candidate

Follow-Up Template #2: Follow-Up to the Follow Up

Hello HR Manager,

I hope you’re doing well!

I thought I’d follow up on our conversation from last week and see if you had an update you could share. I’m still very much interested in working with you and your team, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Job Candidate

Follow-Up Template #3: Final, Professional Farewell

Hello HR Manager,

I wanted to check in on our conversation from [Last Contact Date] regarding [Company’s Open Position].

I’m in the process of considering other employment opportunities, and it would be very helpful to know if you have decided to go in another direction or are experiencing an internal delay. I very much appreciate your transparency either way and will respectfully stop following up if that is the case.


Job Candidate

Finally, here are a few tips that could put you on the callback list:

  • Allow at least a full business week to pass between emails to make sure that the HR manager isn’t just backlogged and working through her inbox.
  • Write generic email titles that include the term “Quick Question.” This sends the message that the receiver can read and respond to the email quickly, appealing to her desire to clear her inbox quickly.
  • Never use all-caps or aggressive punctuation that would reveal impatience or unprofessionalism.
  • When in doubt, assume the result is out of your control. Perhaps they cannot reveal that the salary requirements have changed, the position moved across the country or their best employee applied for the job at the last minute. If you assume the best, it will be easier to maintain a professional and positive outlook in emails.
  • If they never respond to any email, ask yourself if that’s really a company that you want to work for. Professionalism is a two-way street.

Have you ever had a job trail go cold? How did you respond?


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at SimplyHired!

Simply Hired



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