In general, there are three kinds of follow-up emails you can send after an interview. In the best case, you only need to send one email — a note that thanks your interviewers for their time and expresses your enthusiasm for the job.
But sometimes, weeks can pass after an interview without a response from a potential employer. If this happens, you can send a second follow-up email to check in. Finally, you can send an email asking to stay in touch with the hiring manager. If you didn’t get the job, this is a great way to expand your network and learn how to improve your chances the next time.
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Below are guidelines and examples for writing a follow-up thank you email, a “checking in” email, and a “staying in touch” email.
Follow-up thank you email
In your follow-up thank you email highlight the ways your talents align to the role. Refer to your notes from the interview and the job description to choose words that will resonate with the hiring manager. If there’s something you forgot to say or want to elaborate on from your interview, this email is a great place to mention it.
Communicate your enthusiasm for the job by restating your interest in the job and your conviction that you are the right fit for the position.
Send your follow-up thank you email within 24 hours. Start with the name of the person who interviewed you. Use their first name if you are on a first-name basis. If not, include “Mr./Ms.” and their last name.
Choose an appropriate length. In the examples below, you’ll see a short version and a long version. The short version will be appropriate for most cases. Close the letter with your name and contact information, including your phone number and your email.
Carefully proofread before you hit send. As with everything else you’ve sent to potential employers, give your follow up a final edit before you send it.
[Read more: 27 Proofreading Tips That Will Improve Your Resume]
Short follow-up thank you email example
In the short version, you’ll want to be concise:
- In the first paragraph, mention the specific job title and thank your interviewer.
- In the second paragraph, note the company’s name as well as a conversation point and/or goal that seemed especially important to the person you spoke with. Connect that point to your experience and interests.
- In the final paragraph, invite them to ask you any additional questions and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing back.
Subject line: Thank you for your time
Dear [Interviewer’s name],
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the Marketing Coordinator role. It was great to meet with you and learn more about the position.
I’m very excited about the opportunity to join [Company name], and am particularly interested in the details you shared about the upcoming launch of the brand campaign. I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of taking on some of the project management and bringing my experience in successfully coordinating cross-functional initiatives to the table.
After our conversation, I’m confident that my background in marketing and my interest in brand growth will enable me to fill the job requirements effectively and support the vision of [Company name]. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with any further information or samples of my work. I look forward to hearing from you.
Long follow-up thank you email
In the long version, you have more opportunity to explain your skills in detail (although you’ll notice that this long version is still relatively short). Here’s what to include:
- In the first paragraph, thank your interviewer for their time and express your continued interest in the job and company.
- In the second paragraph, mention something from the conversation and expand on it. Get as specific as possible while keeping it short and to-the-point.
- In the third and final paragraph, close with a summary statement on what sets you apart as a candidate and what you’ll bring to this new opportunity.
Subject line: Thank you for your time
Dear [Interviewer’s name],
Thank you very much for your time yesterday — it was a pleasure speaking with you about the Account Executive role. From our conversation, it’s clear that [Company name] has the energetic and hard-working environment I’m seeking.
I especially enjoyed discussing your need for someone who can create value and insight during client conversations. It’s an interesting challenge, and I’ve continued reflecting on it since our meeting. Over the last few years, I’ve encountered many of the same roadblocks we discussed: tightening client budgets and lengthy decision making processes. Prioritizing the quality of the conversation, over simply delivering information, has been one of my most successful tactics in overcoming those roadblocks and one reason I’ve routinely exceeded my quotas.
In my relationships with clients, I focus on building trust and boosting credibility — and I’m excited about the prospect of bringing that skillset to [Company name]. If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me by email or phone.
Keep in mind, particularly for the longer version, that you’ll want to spend time customizing the elements to your specific experience and the interview conversations. The more you customize these general examples, the more you’ll stand out as an applicant.
Checking in email
If you haven’t heard back from a potential employer after your interview and after your thank you follow up, you can send a “checking in” email, ideally to the recruiter. You should send this email if you haven’t heard back after two weeks since your interview.
You don’t need to worry that checking in makes you seem desperate or annoying. The truth is that these decisions take a different amount of time at each company. You’re simply giving them a gentle nudge for an update. And, if you really want the job, there’s no harm in reiterating that.
Checking in email example
You want to keep it short. Indicate that you’re looking for more information without being overeager:
- In the subject line, include the job title you interviewed for.
- Send this email to the recruiter. They are the most likely to be up-to-date on what’s going on in the hiring process.
- Keep it to one paragraph indicating that you are still interested in the job and looking for an update. Offer to provide additional information if they need it. Sign off with a thank you.
Subject line: Checking in about Marketing Coordinator role
Dear [Recruiter’s name],
I hope you’re well! I’m checking in on the Marketing Coordinator role. It was great to meet with the team earlier and I’m looking forward to your update. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can provide to assist in the decision-making process.
Staying in touch email
If you haven’t heard back after checking in or you’ve learned that you didn’t get the job, you can still venture to stay in touch with the hiring manager. The goal of this email is to establish a professional relationship with a person who can help you grow.
[Read more: What to Do If You Aren’t Hearing Back From Employers]
Be aware that if you received a firm “no” on this job, it is highly unlikely that this email will change that. What it can do, however, is reinforce your interest in the company and indicate to the hiring manager that even though you may not have been the right fit for this job, there may be a future role for which you are well suited.
Staying in touch email example
Just like your checking in email, this one is short:
- Send this email to the hiring manager. This person is probably at a senior level and could be a potential mentor if you’re looking to grow in this field. In your first paragraph, mention what about them you found interesting or inspirational.
- Limit to two paragraphs and include a proposed timeframe for a phone call or coffee meeting.
[Read more: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps]
Subject line: Staying in touch
Dear [Hiring manager’s name],
Hope you’re well. I’m reaching out to say thank you again for your time and consideration. I sincerely enjoyed my conversations with you and others at [Company name]. In particular, I found the details you shared of your own career path very inspirational. As someone who’s aspiring to build my career in [your shared industry], I’d love to learn more about how you’ve developed and applied your skills.
I know you’re busy, but if you have 20 minutes to spare, it would be great to get on your calendar. Are you available for a phone or coffee chat sometime in the next few weeks?
If you don’t get a response to this email, follow up one more time. Most people aren’t ignoring you on purpose. They’re genuinely busy and your email has likely slipped their mind. As long as you are gracious and polite rather than pushy, these follow-up emails are simple indications of your interest and goodwill.
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