Failing to hear from a recruiter can add to the frustration of finding a job. Sending a reminder can kickstart the process, keeping you in touch and in control. Many jobseekers struggle with how to follow up with a recruiter, finding it challenging to communicate clearly without sounding demanding or damaging the relationship.
In this guide, we explain why your message to a recruiter may have been missed, answer some common questions, and provide 10 examples of follow-up emails that are (almost) guaranteed to work.
If you want to send follow-ups lightning fast, make sure to check out Flowrite's AI-powered smart follow-up email template, that writes your emails for you, like this:
How recruiters manage messages
Recruiters get hundreds of emails a day, says IT professional Deeksha Jaiswal. The sheer volume of responses means it's almost impossible to read and respond to everyone, so recruiters do what the rest of us do and scan subject lines. "People rarely read online — they're far more likely to scan than read word for word," say UX experts Nielsen Norman Group.
Across cultures and countries, researchers have identified found that we're not linear readers. Instead, we pick out the information that's relevant for us at the time.
This can explain why your email becomes lost in the sea of messages. When a recruiter is scanning their email inbox, they may be searching for something else. As time progresses and priorities change, your email gets older, reducing its relevance to the recruiter.
The solution? Sending a reminder email.
Principles of writing a follow-up email to recruiter
Before we get into how to write an email follow-up to a recruiter, we'll answer some of the common questions that applications are asking.
Should you follow up with a recruiter?
If you're still searching for a job, then yes.
Recruiters are literally in the business of finding the best person for the job, and if you believe that's you, then keep in touch. The key here is to remain polite and professional but not be pushy. That means respecting the recruiter and understanding that they have other priorities.
Our templates below provide some examples of how to ensure your emails remain on the right side of relevance.
When to follow up with a recruiter?
We've established that a follow-up email to a recruiter is acceptable; exactly when you send it depends on the stage you're at in the process.
If you're following up on an email inquiry for a new role, then leave it a few days. If you've completed an interview, email as soon as you can afterwards.
To help, we provide examples of follow-up emails below with an indication of when it's OK to send them.
How long to wait to follow up with the recruiter?
If you've not received a response, reply, or feedback from a recruiter, then consider a follow-up email. Again, there are no hard and fast rules here, but we recommend leaving at least a few days between messages and never emai a recruiter over the weekend.
If there are deadlines, then respect them. For example, if you've sent a CV or application for a role, only send a follow-up email after the application deadline has passed.
If you're contacting a recruiter after an interview, then you can contact them straight away, should you wish.
How often to follow up with a recruiter?
As we've stated, there are no rules for reminder emails, but the principle remains that you must be polite and professional. If you receive no response after a follow-up, consider sending another after a couple of days.
Don't be tempted to go into detail; just stay positive.
It's acceptable to send a follow-up email and a further follow-up to that, but we'd leave it there. If you receive no reply to either email, then chalk it up to experience, stay motivated and move on.
Will I receive a reply?
It doesn't matter how polite your message is; you won't receive a reply in some cases. Some businesses, particularly organizations that receive hundreds of applications for each role, refuse to respond to emails. That's their choice, and while it can be difficult, you must respect it.
Recruitment consultants and in-house HR teams are more likely to respond to you, but they don't have to. Our advice is to be persistent, but never to take a lack of response personally.
10 examples of follow up emails to recruiters
At Flowrite, we've done extensive research in professional email writing. We've created a series of plain-language guides on how to write effective emails that get results.
UX experts NNG has outlined four fundamental principles that all good emails share. All effective emails:
- Use clear, noticeable headings and subheadings
- Place important information upfront
- Employ formatting techniques to break up text
- Use plain language
These email basics are the basis for our advice and examples. Information is well structured, fabulously formatted, and engineered to elicit a response.
Each email should follow the same standard formal format you'd use to write any professional email and include:
- A targeted subject line
- Formal greeting
Let’s see how these work in practice.
1. Follow up with recruiter after interview
A short and polite message to a recruiter after an interview is a common courtesy that reflects positively on you. We recommend sending a follow-up with the recruiter after the interview on the same day, if possible. Don't leave it too long, or it will lose its impact. Here's an example.
2. Follow up with recruiter after post-interview silence
If you've made an effort to attend an interview, you deserve some feedback, so ask for it. Recruitment processes, particularly in the world still gripped by the pandemic, may take some time, so don't assume no news is bad news. Here's an example.
3. How to follow up with a recruiter after applying
It's exciting finding a new role but frustrating if you don't get a reply straight away. If an application date is advertised, wait until the deadline has passed before sending a follow-up. If the role is through a recruitment agency or time-limited, you can message after a couple of days.
4. Follow up with recruiter after sending resume
Recruiters are likely to receive hundreds of CVs from candidates every week, so don't worry if you don't hear from a recruiter immediately. A well-worded follow-up email can act as both a reminder to a recruiter and a statement of how serious you are at finding a job. Here's an example of a follow up with a recruiter after sending a resume.
5. Follow up email before interview
A follow-up email before an interview might seem strange, but it can help clear up any confusion, answer questions, or put your mind at ease before the big day. But, again, keep it short, polite, and professional.
6. How to follow up with recruiter after career fair
Careers fairs are a great way to meet potential employers, but you can quickly find yourself at the bottom of the pile as other potential candidates contact them. Sending a potential recruiter an email a few days after a careers fair can keep you fresh in their mind. Here's an example of how to follow up with a recruiter after a career fair.
7. Follow up email after phone call with recruiter
Chatting on the phone with a recruiter is a great way to start your relationship, but you should always follow up with an email. As well as showing initiative and enthusiasm, you'll also be able to share your contact details directly with the person, which is essential for staying in touch. You can send an email as soon as you've put down the phone.
8. Follow up email after meeting with recruiter
Similar to the email template following a phone call, if you've had a meeting with a recruiter, a prompt email follow-up shows you're serious. You can provide additional details they may have asked for (such as a CV) and include the all-important contact details.
9. How to follow up with a recruiter after final interview
The final interview is the last step before recruitment. A personalized follow-up at this point may not secure you the job, but it demonstrates respect for the process and the people involved. Here's how to follow up with a recruiter after final interview.
10. How to follow up with a recruiter after rejection
Rejection can be hard to take, but it's a part of the recruitment process; it's how you respond that matters the most. A positive follow-up email to a recruiter after rejection can be powerful, and while one door may have closed, it could open others. Take some time to process the news, and when you're ready (a few hours or days later), here's a template that you can use.
Create a follow-up email to recruiter template with Flowrite
There's no denying that follow-up emails are tricky to write. It's easy to come across as precious and pushy, even if you're trying to be polite. Even the best of us find it challenging to find the right words (or to find the time to write them), which is why Flowrite is the ideal solution.
Flowrite is an intelligent writing assistant that can transform notes and ideas into clear, confident, and correct emails. So whether you're following up with a recruiter, emailing a manager, or messaging a new business associate, Flowrite can help you hit the right tone of voice time after time.
Writing professional emails to recruiters isn't always easy, but it is essential. In this guide, we've provided some top tips and demonstrated how to put them into practice. Check out our professional writing guides if you're searching for some inspiration.
Are you still struggling to find the right words? Learn more about Flowrite, the world's leading AI writing assistant. Flowrite can transform your notes into powerful and professional emails. Check it out today.
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