While a nice resume can help you get noticed by hiring managers, and a face-to-face interview is an excellent way to get your foot in the door, providing the appropriate follow-up communication is essential to making a memorable presence at any company. A step that is often overlooked by job seekers of today, sending a follow-up letter after an interview can go a long way in keeping your name at the top of the interviewer’s mind. Moreover, it provides the ideal opportunity to re-state your desire for the job and to highlight the skills you have to offer your potential future employer.
Method of Contact
Firstly, avoid using the telephone when initiating follow-up communications. Unless the employer has specifically requested a phone call, which is unlikely, the best form of communication is definitely a letter. This should be similar to your initial cover letter; both in format and in content, though follow-up letters tend to be much briefer. In any case, try to maintain consistency between the other documentation, such as your resume and cover letter, and your follow-up letter.
Given the technical nature of today’s workforce, electronic follow-up letters can typically be emailed to an employer or hiring manager. If this is not an option, for either you or your potential employee, then feel free to send the letter through the U.S. Postal Service.
It’s important to time your follow-up letter correctly. Initiate follow-up communications too quickly or too frequently, and you’re bound to come off as annoying. Wait too long, however, and an employer may think you’re uninterested … and you may end up missing out on the opportunity entirely.
Most experts agree that one or two days is the ideal length of time to wait before sending your follow-up letter to a hiring manager or potential future employer. This timeframe may vary, especially when working with deadline-driven projects or time-sensitive opportunities, but one or two days should give the hiring manager plenty of time to read and absorb the information from your resume.
Length and Content
Since the employer already has access to your resume and cover letter, the follow-up letter should be kept short and succinct. A brief introduction and sincere thanks for their time and assistance, a highlight of some skills and a proper ending is all that you really need to include in a follow-up letter. Making sure this document is concise yet informative is the key to success with your follow-up communications. According to most experts today, three short paragraphs are plenty enough when writing a follow-up letter.
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