This business of searching for a new job… we all know it’s about relationships and well really, isn’t everything? So when asking yourself the age old question about How Often You Should Follow Up- on the personal note, don’t be afraid to apply this tested professional advice to other relationships… and on the professional note, the short answer is to find the balance between not too much, but enough… and this long answer explains the how and why.

The ideas shared in today’s post are gathered from a myriad of different recruiting and executive professionals who were willing to share their expertise through simply answering a few questions. Thanks to them for their knowledge, experience and time!

Playing it cool seems to be the general theme of most of the responses. Every candidate, regardless of experience, gender or the type of job they are seeking should let the correspondence just flow. Remember that each industry and discipline within an industry is different and should be approached that way. Although the recipe for success may be the same, sometimes adjustments need to be made.

One seasoned recruiter suggested that a proactive approach with the recruiter/HR person is a good way to go. Ask his preference with the way in which you follow up, and also the frequency. Another individual mentioned the concise and informative-style email she receives, about weekly from several high level candidates she is working with. A quick check in and then the dates during the following week that work best for follow up meetings are the components of the email. “Impressive and helpful” was her description.

We have previously talked a little about the hand-written note vs. email follow up and not much has changed there. Correspondence directly after the interview is a must and snail-mail is not the way to go there, but hand written notes are never out of style. Just consider the audience and decide if a well written note could be sent in conjunction with an email.

Now that our professional world has a social network as well, following not only people but businesses through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is common. So it begs the question- Is Facebook follow-up acceptable? Our panel was united in their response that FB like & following company’s sites for which you are interested is a good practice, but personal Facebook contact is only acceptable if you’ve been contacted there first. Otherwise, it could be considered inappropriate, awkward, stalkerish or even creepy.

When deciding whether email or a phone conversation is best for a follow up, keep these things in mind. If the answer is simple and/or fact based, an email will suffice. If there is explanation or details to be shared, chances are a phone conversation will be better. There is much that can be lost in translation with text instead of hearing the vocal inflection.

Deciding on the when, how and what to share in a follow up can be tricky. Just remember that needs change from person to person and company to company as well. In the words of a New York advertising executive, “Try and stay positive & live in the moment as much as possible, try and not take things personally – you will be where you are meant to be; realize that turnover costs and a bad fit in the beginning is bad in the end– companies need to be a fit for you and you a fit for them.” Educate yourself, choose your words wisely and practice patience. In the end it will pay off.