Follow-up and professionalism are the hallmarks of any job search – right up until the time you learn of a company’s hiring decision. But some decisions can be slow in coming, sometimes because of circumstances to which you may not be privy. If the date you were promised a hiring decision has passed, write a brief, friendly and professional e-mail inquiring about the status of the decision. By doing so, you also can reinforce your interest in the position and show that you are diligent and conscientious.
Direct your e-mail to the person who interviewed you and informed you of the hiring date. Don't contact her supervisor, as this could be construed as usurping her authority.
Open your email with a formal salutation, such as “Dear Ms. Smith.” Don't risk offending the interviewer’s sense of professionalism by addressing her on a first-name basis.
Begin your e-mail on a friendly note but with a clear statement of purpose, reminding her when you interviewed as well as the title of the position. You might say, “It was my great pleasure to meet with you on June 1 (date) to discuss my qualifications for sales manager (position) at your company. As the hiring deadline you gave me has passed, might I inquire about the status of your decision?”
Take the opportunity to reinforce your interest in the position. Remind Ms. Smith of the positive points you made during the interview. You could say, “I hope I conveyed that my many similar professional experiences would allow me to hit the ground running and help me immediately advance the company’s goals and objectives.”
Offer to answer any follow-up questions the interviewer might have, as you never know if you're in tight contention for the job with another applicant. You might say, “Should you have any further questions about my background or experience, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to talk with you.” Provide your phone number and the best times of day to reach you.
Thank Ms. Smith in advance for keeping you informed about the status of the hiring decision. Also thank her for her time and continued consideration of your credentials. Depending on your comfort level, you might add, “It is my great hope that we'll be working together soon.”
- Read your email aloud slowly to catch any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Your email should be flawless.
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Writing the Basic Business Letter
- Colorado State University: Writing Guide -- Business Letters
- Letters From the Home Room: Request Letters
- The New St. Martin’s Handbook; Andrea Lunsford and Robert Connors, et al.
- The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers; Maxine Hairston and John Ruszkiewicz
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