June 23, 2018

Jobseekers: Sign In | Sign Up Recruiters

Career Advice

Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

Optimizing Your Follow-Up Letter

A follow-up letter seems like a last-ditch effort on the part of a jobseeker, am I right? Ah, but wait! The act of sending this kind of letter can actually sway a company in your direction.

Companies don’t always make hiring decisions when expected. Sending your follow-up letter a few days or a couple weeks after the interview can actually reflect your ambition and dedication to the employer. In some cases, it will reflect you as a more viable, dedicated, and persistent option to employers.

List new and unique content, and avoid regurgitating exact details contained in your original cover letter or those spoken in the interview whenever possible. Instead, keep it fresh by expanding in directions that put new angles or views on your work history.

A follow-up letter is referred to as a reintroduction or thank-you letter — although a thank-you letter is oftentimes only a few sentences versus the typical 2-3 paragraphs used in a follow-up letter.

Keep in mind that few jobseekers actually send a thank-you or follow-up letter. Therefore, when it actually occurs, it can sway a hiring manager’s decision in your direction. Remember, it’s all about who looks the best in the eyes of the employer. Here are just a few reasons for sending a great follow-up letter, along with suggestions on what to include in it:

  1. Thank the interviewer for his time. Everyone likes to be recognized and thanked, even if the “tree fails to bear fruit.” Send a follow-up letter even on those occasions when the interview didn’t go as well as expected.

  2. Refresh the interviewer’s memory concerning a particular topic you talked about in the interview. It helps to relate to the interviewer; and by bringing up a previously discussed topic, you can draw the interviewer’s attention on to you … even if only for a minute.

  3. Forum to reinforce knowledge, skills, and abilities brought up in the interview. Don’t be afraid to restate what makes you a prime candidate for the position. It doesn’t hurt to mention it, because maybe the interviewer missed something relevant about your skill set.

  4. Address new information that wasn’t originally brought up; e.g. you may have recently learned the company plans to expand marketing efforts in France. If you speak French, noting that in your follow-up letter would definitely be a smart move.

  5. Sometimes small gestures open a door to bigger rewards, such as a second interview. Receiving follow-up correspondence from a jobseeker can keep the line of communication open between the hiring company and the jobseeker.

  6. Spell out transferable skills not brought up in the interview. If you sat through the entire interview and left with a less than favorable feeling about the outcome, then detailing how your current skill set is relevant to the open position can build a bridge between your current, or most recent, position and your target position.

    Don’t overlook any opportunity you have to increase your chances for employment. The hiring process is much like a dance. Fail to dance (and dance properly) in order to woo the judges, and your chances of winning diminish. It’s always best to stray from what the bulk of jobseekers are doing, so that you draw attention to yourself whenever the opportunity arises.

    - Teena Rose

    Resume to Referral www, Teena Rose is a certified and published resume writer and author of "The 20-Minute Cover Letter Fixer" Cover-Letter-Fixer and "Cracking the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales." Pharmaceutical Sales Use Resume to Referral for a high-end, high-quality resume and cover letter package.

    Top of Page