Fact No. 1: After you’ve interviewed for a job, hiring managers don’t always get back to you in the time frame they told you they would.
Fact No. 2: You should absolutely follow up with a polite email if you’re expecting to hear back and you haven’t.
Fact No. 3: You can use this message not just to check in, but to give the decision maker even more info that’ll show you’re the right person for the job.
That’s right. Take this traditional "just following up" email:
I hope you had a great week. You had mentioned that you’d be in touch with next steps on the hiring process by Wednesday, so I just wanted to check in. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help with your decision.
There’s nothing wrong with that note. It’s brief, it’s polite, and it gets your name in front of the hiring manager.
That said, instead of asking if there’s anything you can do to, in essence, boost your candidacy, why not take that next step and provide something that does just that?
Let’s say you’re applying to a social media position with Dolby. You might say something like this instead:
I hope you had a great week. You had mentioned that you’d be in touch with next steps on the hiring process by Wednesday, so I just wanted to check in.
In the meantime, I wanted to share a social campaign that I launched this week. It’s already had more than 5,000 shares—the company’s second most successful program ever. I think something similar to this would be very impactful for Dolby, and I’d be excited to jump right in and get started.
In this message, you’ve shared another example of your work, you’ve highlighted a recent success, and you’ve reiterated your enthusiasm for the position. And you’ve done so proactively, which is never a bad thing.
You can tailor this template pretty easily if your work is online or easily sharable, like writing, marketing, or design.
Or, if your work or goals can be quantified—you’re in sales or account management, say—you might try something like this:
In the meantime, I wanted to share that I finished this month as the No. 1 sales rep in the New York market. It was a big honor, and also a reminder that I’m ready for my next challenge, hopefully as the sales manager at Dolby.
If your work is more behind the scenes, or if you’re working on proprietary information that can’t necessarily be shared externally, you might consider describing a project you’re working on (one that could apply in some way to the job you’re applying for) in broader terms:
In the meantime, I wanted to share that I just put the finishing touches on a crisis communications plan for one of our technology clients—a three-month process that involved collaborating with everyone from the customer success team to the CEO. It was a great experience, and one that made me even more excited about the opportunity to work on the communications team at Dolby.
Still stumped? Here’s something anyone, in any field, can do:
In the meantime, I wanted to share an article that I published last week on LinkedIn, which was inspired by the conversation we had about [topic you discussed in interview]. It’ll give you a little more on how I think about [subject matter]. Thanks for the inspiration—I hope we have the opportunity to work together and have many more of these conversations.
Assuming you’re not the only candidate in the pipeline, your "just checking in" email will probably be one of many sitting in the hiring manager’s inbox. Use the opportunity not just to follow up, but to show once again why you’re the best candidate for the job.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Muse and is reprinted with permission.