You’ve already done the hardest part. But what’s next? Learn best practices on how to keep recruiters interested in you after the interview is over.

You can breathe now—the hardest part is over. You’ve landed an interview with the company of your dreams and given it your all with the job recruiter or manager who interviewed you. And now, you wait to hear whether you’ve moved on in the hiring process. But your anxiety levels are rising daily, and you’re checking your inbox and voicemail every ten minutes, hoping for a response.

What should you do when you find yourself in this situation? Keeping up with job recruiters after your interview is over is an old-fashioned tradition in the modern digital age. Still, many valid reasons exist to stay on an interviewer’s radar, even just a few days after an initial meeting. We spoke with job seekers and experienced recruiters alike about what you should do when you’re *this close* to nailing the perfect opportunity.

30-second summary:

  • Create a “mental hook” in follow-up communications: After an interview, send a tailored email that leaves a lasting impression, highlighting both your professional skills and personal interests that align with the interviewer’s. Sharing personal anecdotes or relevant articles can make your message stand out and keep you in the interviewer’s mind.
  • Leverage social media, particularly LinkedIn: Avoid personal platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Instead, use LinkedIn to maintain a professional connection. When sending messages on LinkedIn, avoid generic or clichéd thank-you notes. Craft personal messages emphasizing your skills and the reason for the connection. Also, ensure all social media profiles are clean and professional since potential employers might check them.
  • Stay patient and avoid dwelling on the interview: While being anxious is natural, don’t take rejection personally. Career expert Vicki Salemi emphasizes the importance of patience and respectful follow-ups. She suggests keeping oneself busy and exploring other job opportunities in the meantime.
  • Always follow up, regardless of the outcome: Salemi advises candidates to send a thank-you note after an interview, irrespective of the result. A well-thought-out message can pave the way for potential future opportunities with the same employer. Never responding negatively is essential, even if the outcome is unfavorable.
  • Humanized professionalism is key: Even in the digital age, maintaining a human touch in communications is crucial. Whether through personalized emails, LinkedIn messages, or handwritten notes, showing gratitude and professionalism can make a significant difference in job hunting. Effective communication can greatly enhance chances in the competitive job market.

1. Create a “mental hook.”

We spoke with Carlotta Zimmerman, a professional career coach who encourages her clients to create a “mental hook” in a tailored email post-interview. This hook establishes your candidacy by featuring your best skill set, capitalizing on your professional offerings and your personal interests. For example, mention a recent article from your favorite publication on a TV show you and your interviewer both liked if the topic came up during your interview.

Zimmerman also tells job seekers to “share bits of humanity” in their thank-you emails, such as a restaurant or vacation suggestions if the conversation ventures into that territory. She even suggests clients use their LinkedIn accounts to connect with recruiters and share relevant industry articles to remind recruiters and their professional network of their career passions.

Jamie Zabinsky, an account coordinator at 5W Public Relations in New York City, tried those tricks when pursuing her first job. Wanting to prove her professionalism and earnest interest in the role, Zabinsky took it upon herself to send a thank you email to her recruiter. Still, she also included a relevant article about a topic she and the recruiter discussed during her interview. This personal touch affirmed Zabinsky’s interest in her position and her desire to connect with her recruiter. Even better? She ended up landing the job!

2. Take advantage of social media.

But job seekers don’t have to stop there (though we’d caution against reaching out too often—you don’t want to come off too strong!) When used professionally, social media can even help you keep in touch after the interview ends. Avoid platforms like Facebook or Instagram, which tend to be used to connect in more personal scenarios, and lean into your LinkedIn profile.

Jennifer Lasater, Vice President of Employer and Career Services at Kaplan University, has some advice on effectively using LinkedIn to help you capture the attention of a recruiter post-interview. She says that if you connect with a recruiter on LinkedIn and want to thank them via InMail, caution against using “cute” thank you clichés and avoid using the automated gratitude messages the site provides. Instead, Lasater says, “Craft a personal note highlighting your individual skills and why you want to connect, using professionalism in every interaction.” This should go without saying, but as a reminder, keep every social media account clean, professional, and approachable. Future employers can and will search for your profiles, so you should be sure your public persona is one you’d be comfortable with within the workplace.

3. Don’t dwell on it.

Career expert Vicki Salemi works with to help connect professionals with the job opportunities of their dreams. Over the course of her career, she’s witnessed countless job seekers find success connecting with recruiters and knows how to avoid slip-ups.

“The most important thing is never to take rejection personally when waiting to hear back,” says Salemi. “It can feel like months when it’s only been weeks since you interviewed with a recruiter, but you must practice patience and follow up respectfully and tactfully.”

Salemi advises her clients to look for other jobs and opportunities while waiting for a response from an interviewer. “It’s best to keep yourself busy during this time, whether it means starting a workout class or staying active in other ways,” says Salemi. She also warns job seekers against telling friends about potential opportunities to avoid negative feedback or unnecessary career advice.

“It’s always your responsibility to stay in touch with a recruiter,” advises Salemi. “Follow up an interview with a thoroughly spell-checked thank you letter—whether handwritten or in an email—and insert a personal anecdote or reference something interesting you discussed with your interviewer.”

Even if you don’t receive that lusted-after job opportunity, Salemi says a follow-up thank-you is necessary regardless of the outcome. “Maintaining a relationship with your interviewer may lead to future employment opportunities, so never respond angrily or rudely even if the results weren’t what you wanted.”

Even in our digital age, it’s just as important to maintain a sense of humanized professionalism throughout the job search. Take the time to thoughtfully thank job recruiters with a personalized email, LinkedIn messages, or a handwritten note. Now more than ever, the power of effective communication will help you land opportunities no matter what route you choose to take.

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