When to Send a Follow-up Letter
In your job search, follow-up letters are usually sent for two reasons:
- To build upon a relationship with a new contact after an initial meeting, career fair, or networking event
- Strengthen an existing career-related connection you haven’t spoken to in awhile
These are similar but not exactly the same as thank thank you letters, which is typically a standard note to send after an informational or job interview immediately after the meeting. Follow-up letters might be sent weeks after the first thank you note in order to touch base and either reintroduce yourself or build upon a previous conversation — whether it was about the industry, job leads, or other information.
Another type of follow-up letter may be sent after submitting a job application. If you haven’t heard from the employer after a few weeks, you can send a follow-up letter to check the status of your application and re-emphasize interest in the company and position.
How to Write a Follow-up Letter
Your letter’s tone should match the formality of the relationship you have with the contact. An email to a family friend might be more conversational than a letter to a managing partner at a firm that just you just met. Not sure what tone you should strike? Look at the previous forms of communication with that person in emails and in-person meetings as an indicator. Your follow-up letter should let the reader know:
That you appreciated your initial meeting
Where you stand in your current job search
Anything relevant that has happened between the previous meeting and now (e.g., if you have graduated, if you have reached out to any specific contacts, etc.)
What type of help you want to request (e.g., additional contact names, job leads, etc.)
Examples of Follow-up Letters
These are sample follow-up letters to give you an idea of what to include in your letter. Don’t copy this directly! Try writing your first draft without looking at the sample. The most important quality you can show to your network is sincerity and enthusiasm, and this must be done in your own voice.
After a Career Fair
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, 2017. 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.
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.