THE BLOG
08/25/2014 12:44 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2014

The Hiring Guru: Follow-up or You've Given Up!

If you really want to get hired, don't blow it AFTER the interview. I will assume you've used my other tips, so the opportunity should be yours for the taking.

Anyone loves a bit of appreciation, right? I recently gave a speech at UCLA to a group of amazing students and foreign exchange interns. There was a fantastic response and I even had a few emails that night of thanks - it was a great feeling that my work had really inspired people. This brings me to my next rule in interviewing to get hired: Follow Up, Or You've Given Up.

That great feeling doesn't stop at employers, especially when prospective employees take the time to thank a employer for an interview. In all my time on the "hiring scene", I only ever received about five handwritten notes in over 20 years; yet they were so effective! I can't believe such a small number went to the trouble. Of those five, four got hired and that note was the clincher. Thank you notes are essential, critical and vital to follow-up. Always send a thank you note. Period.

First things first, find out what the timeline is for learning whether or not you got the job. This shows organization as well as a true interest. Timing is so important here. Send a note too late and its pointless, send it too early and it might be forgotten about.

With the volatile economic atmosphere nowadays, the time of executives and Human Resource professionals is limited and valuable. Keep that in mind. The simple gesture of writing to thank them for their time and consideration of you as candidate will speak volumes for your character and may just move you up a few places in a pile of prospects.

If you can also make a short mention of something about you that came up in the meeting, that will remind them of who you are, and that helps too. Take heed to not overdo it though, don't go overboard and send flowers or chocolates; you're not following up on a date! The handwritten touch shows your consideration and appreciation.

A very simple "Thank you for your time and consideration." will also go a long way further than rambling on about all the reasons why they should consider you now that you forgot to mention in the interview.

The last step is to make sure you follow-up after sending your note. Some companies get really busy and there is the possibility that due to a day-off, a sick-day or any other multitude of reasons, you were not contacted. So, give a call to see if they have hired someone, if you are still in consideration or best yet, they were about to call you and want to know when you can start!

Remember, if you don't get the position but DO follow up, be sure to both thank them for taking the time to consider you as well as ask them for any feedback on what you could do better in future opportunities. This is a great chance to get tips on what to work on to help you with your next interview. Just go for it - you have nothing to lose and a flourishing career to gain!

A quick side note for all you soon to be graduates and career path changers... I'm releasing a new book in January. It's all about the interviewing and hiring process to help you land the job every time. The announcement will be coming soon at www.DavidLeeJensen.com.