Skills - Networking & Informational Interviewing - Follow-Up Letters

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Follow-up letters are usually sent for two reasons: first, follow-up letters serve as an opportunity for additional contact after an initial meeting, career fair, or networking meeting; second, follow-up letters can effectively revive a job search by reconnecting a contact with whom you have not spoken in a while.

Follow-up letters are different than thank you letters. The purpose of thank you letters is to thank someone for meeting with you and to reaffirm your interest in the position or industry at hand. Thank you letters are, in turn, sent immediately. A follow-up letter is sent several weeks after sending a thank you letter in order to touch base once again with your contact and to reintroduce yourself. A follow-up letter provides you with the opportunity to restate your interest and to check for new job leads or information. Another type of follow-up letter may be sent after submitting your resume and cover letter. If after several weeks, you have not heard from the employer, you should send a follow-up letter to reemphasize your interest in the company and the position.

Follow-up letters can be sent by post or email. You should make your letter as formal or as informal as your relationship with the contact dictates. Use previous forms of communication with the employers as indicators.

Follow-up Letter Guide

A follow-up letter should let the reader know the following:
  • That you appreciated your initial meeting
  • Where you stand in your current job search
  • Anything relevant that has occurred between the initial meeting and now (e.g., if you have graduated, if you have reached out to any specific contacts, etc.)
  • What type of help you now need (e.g., additional contact names, job leads, etc.)

Follow-up Letter Examples

The following example is only a guide to give you an idea of what to include in your letter. Do not copy this letter directly. We suggest that you write the first draft of your follow-up letter without using the sample to guide you. The most important quality you can convey in follow-up letter is enthusiasm and this must be done in your own style.

Sample Follow-up Letter: After a Career Fair

Sheila Davis
123 Lerner Hall, Columbia University
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-1234
xyz@columbia.edu

Dr. Susan Johnson
International Relief
123 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

May 3, 2009

Dear Ms. Johnson,

In early March, we met at the Not-for-Profit/Public Service Career Fair at Columbia University. I enjoyed speaking with you and hearing about your organization, International Relief.

I wanted to follow-up with you at this time to reaffirm my interest in opportunities with International Relief. Throughout the last month, I researched the organization extensively and feel confident that my skills and experience would allow me to make a strong contribution.

I have made some changes to the resume I submitted previously, and I have attached an updated copy. I graduate in two weeks, and I am available for full-time work, beginning June 1, 2009. Please feel free to contact me by telephone or email to schedule an interview. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you again to discuss positions in more detail.

Sincerely,

Sheila Davis

Sample Follow-up Letter: Networking

Ben Adams
123 Lerner Hall, Columbia University
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-1234
xyz@columbia.edu

Mr. Michael Smith
All Star Advertising
754 Broadway
New York, NY 10023

May 3, 2009

Dear Michael,

I enjoyed meeting with you earlier this spring. I really appreciated you taking the time to have coffee with me and talking about the field of advertising. The more I heard about your personal and professional experiences, the greater my interest was piqued in advertising.

After reading the book you recommended, Advertising Career Guide, I gained a clearer understanding of job titles and structure within the industry. Based on our conversation and the research I have done since then, I believe a position as an Assistant Account Executive is a good fit for my background and interests.

I wanted to get in touch and let you know that at this point, I am beginning my job search. I have attached an updated copy of my resume for your review; I welcome any feedback you can offer. Also, if you have any suggestions for me regarding additional people to contact or resources for job listings, please let me know.

Thanks again for your time and assistance. I will be in touch by phone or email within the next two weeks to follow up.

Sincerely,

Ben Adams