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The Most Effective Way to Follow Up When You Need a Response ASAP

By | Kat Boogaard |

When it comes to follow-up emails, I think they fall into one of two distinct groups: Checking in because you’re desperately hoping for a response or circling back because you desperately need a response.

If you’ve ever job hunted before, you’re likely familiar with that first scenario. You’ve probably innocently popped back into the hiring manager’s inbox a few times with the faint hope that you’ll finally hear something back about next steps in the hiring process. Yes, that radio silence can be disheartening.

But, honestly, it’s the second group of follow-ups—the ones where you absolutely, frantically, without-a-doubt require a response—that can be downright infuriating.

Whether you’re waiting on a past-due piece of a project from a co-worker or you’re still keeping your eyes peeled for that necessary answer from your boss, not getting what you need when you need it can be frustrating at best. And, most of the time, this requires a different type of approach than those friendly “Just checking in!” messages you’re used to sending to potential employers or prospective clients.

So, here are four key tips to help you effectively follow up when you don’t just want a response, but absolutely need one.

1. Resist the Urge to Apologize

I don’t want to pester you. I’m sorry for clogging up your inbox. I hate to bother you about this again.

Sound familiar? They’re likely all lines you’ve used to kickoff a follow-up message. And, when you’re sending a polite email to someone like a hiring manager, they can be a somewhat effective way to segue into your request.

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