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How to Write a Killer Follow-Up Letter

Job Seekers

You’re walking out of your job interview, thinking about your conversation. Likely, you are evaluating your performance, chances of receiving a job offer, and whether or not this company is a good fit for you and your aspirations.

Whether you aced the interview, choked, or performed somewhere in the middle, the interview process is not yet over. There’s still one more task you need to perform: write a killer follow-up letter.

No matter what occurred during the interview, it would be a mistake to forego this very important step. Your follow-up letter (typically sent by email) will demonstrate your professionalism, support your messaging, and reinforce your interest in the role.

But what do you write on your letter? Didn’t you just tell them everything you wanted to say? Perhaps, but re-emphasizing and summarizing your talking points can help to solidify your qualifications and boost your candidacy.

Here’s the formula for writing an effective follow-up letter:

The Hook

Begin your letter with a powerful statement that catches their attention:

Dear Ms. Harrison:

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today about your company, my background, and the role of Supply Chain Director. As I reflect on our conversation, I am struck by how your requirements for a seasoned raw materials buyer match my sourcing and purchasing experience perfectly!

The Pitch

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make with their follow-up letters is neglecting to use this correspondence as an opportunity to cement your talking points. If you only use this letter to thank your interviewer for their time, then you are leaving a lot unsaid.

There are three important goals you can achieve in your letter:

  • Reinforce your messaging: Either in paragraph or bullet form, reiterate your most relevant qualifications. Here is an example of how to start this section:

“As I mentioned during our discussion, I believe that my 18 years of experience in building relationships with key decision-makers from Fortune 50 companies will pave the way for me to bring new accounts into your enterprise portfolio.”

  • Overcome objections: Did you run into a stumbling block on the interview? Did they express concerns about your candidacy? Here is a chance for you to mitigate any negative, conflicting, or irrelevant aspects of your background. Example:

“I appreciate your candor in revealing that you prefer a candidate with direct biotech industry experience. My most recent role with a leading consulting firm included several large-scale engagements with clients in the pharmaceutical and health tech industries, giving me valuable insights into these fields.”

  • Fill in the gaps: Here is your opportunity to provide information that address requirements that you uncovered during the interview. Example:

“I was excited to learn that this position includes playing a leading role in direct negotiations with vendors and contract manufacturers. I should mention that during my six years with the Johnson Company, I worked closely with the senior executive team to negotiate costs and terms with our offshore partners.”

It’s important to think of your follow-up letter as an extension of your interview, rather than a mere formality. Even if you decide that you do not want the role, it’s still a good idea to send a straightforward follow-up letter to show your professionalism and express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the position. You never know when your paths may cross again.

The Close

The final paragraph should wrap up your case for why you believe you are the right fit and then suggest the next step. It shows you are serious about the opportunity and reinforces your desire to work for the company. Example:

I am confident that my Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and my 15 years of experience in the field would enable me to make a valuable contribution to your company. I look forward to hearing from you regarding next steps in the process. Please let me know if you would like any additional information.

Final Notes

Keep the tone of your letter professional, authentic, and meaningful. Using vague generalities that are trite and empty will defeat the main purpose of the letter.

The good news is that you do not have to tackle this important task alone. When partnering with a recruiter, you get the support you need during the entire job-search process from your initial application through interviewing, salary negotiation, and offer acceptance. Since 1959, the recruiters at FPC have been helping candidates locate and secure their dream jobs at all levels and in diverse fields. Contact your local office and start mapping out your next career move today.

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