It may seem like a pointless formality. After an interview, you send a follow-up email, thanking the company representatives for taking the time. Does it actually matter?

Yes, as it turns out, that small bit of courtesy can really pay off. One survey suggested that more than two thirds (68%) of hiring managers take the follow-up message into account when making their decision.

That’s not a bad return for a small investment of time. It works because the follow-up operates on a few levels at once. You communicate several key things about yourself by sending a well-crafted message:

Simple Politeness: The follow-up conversation might not help your case directly. However, not making the effort could hurt. Your interviewers could misinterpret the lack of a follow-up. Better to send a quick message and avoid any doubt.

Show You Remain Interested: An employer doesn’t want to offer a job to someone who isn’t excited about the position. By sending a follow-up, you announce your continued interest in the role. This could help sway the decision.

Create a Longer-Term Connection: You might not get the job you interviewed for. However, you might have another chance at this company at some point in the future. These odds get better if you have a relationship with people at the firm. Following up on an interview lets you build this connection.

Clearly, you gain significant benefits from sending a follow-up. But how do you do it effectively? Here are a few rules to maximize the value of your post-interview follow-up:

Follow Their Lead

Tailor your follow-up strategy to the particular situation. Don’t just blast a cookie-cutter email to each potential employer. Instead, let each unique interview inform how you’ll proceed.

Take into account the company’s preferred form of communication. This could be email, text, LinkedIn message, or some other method of connecting. Whatever they used during the pre-interview lead-up, you should stick to that after the interview.

In addition, think about the right person to reach out to. Office politics are in play. You likely met several individuals during the interview and during the planning stages. Pinpoint the person to contact who best suits the circumstances.

Set a Schedule for Yourself

In the heat of a job search, details can fall through the cracks. Walking out of the interview, you’ll be focused entirely on the job at hand. But over the next days and weeks, you’ll turn your attention to other opportunities.

You don’t want to miss your chance to launch an effective follow-up. To avoid this mistake, create a schedule. Plan an immediate “thank you” message within a day of the interview. Then, set a notification to follow up again in about two weeks, if you haven’t heard anything.

Take Time to Craft Your Message

You don’t have to write a long follow-up response. In fact, you’re probably better off keeping it as short as possible. No one is going to read your 1,000-word secondary pitch.

However, even if you’re just sending a quick two-line “thank you,” you need to think about the text. Invest a few moments to write the best message possible. In other words, make sure the communication helps your efforts.

Most of this comes down to editing. Double-check for spelling and grammar errors. Confirm that the tone suits the situation.

Finding a job is an intricate process. From the right resume to the correct interview follow-up, you’re constantly looking to get an edge. A strong recruiting firm, like PrideStaff, can help you improve your chances of finding the perfect role.

Contact PrideStaff Bend today to upgrade your job search.

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