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Follow-up Letters

A well written and timely follow-up letter will enable you to make a positive impression and show your genuine interest in the position. It is an example of both your work habits and writing skills. To gain full advantage of this opportunity, here are a few points to consider:

Do not send a general "thank you" letter. This letter should serve to help you stand out from the crowd. Remember that you are still in "sales mode" and as such, you need to reiterate why you are the best candidate for their position. Make a list of the requirements and needs each interviewer mentioned during the interview and list how you meet those requirements. Provide some detail on your experience that meets those areas. Even though it was mentioned during the interview, you want to reiterate it again. Use every opportunity to remind the hiring manager why you are a great match for them.

Send the letter as soon as possible. This conveys a sense of urgency and a high level of interest in the opportunity. Ideally, your letter should go out the next day.

Send a separate letter to each person who interviewed you and customize each letter based on that particular interview. Never send one mass thank you letter.

A good concise letter that covers all points should be about 3-4 paragraphs.

The body of the letter should address four main points:

  1. Thank the interviewer for his/her time.
  2. Express interest and enthusiasm towards the company and position, asserting that you want to be part of their team.
  3. Highlight your experiences/accomplishments that amplify your qualifications, using the manager's own words from the interview. Provide a bit of detail based on your actual account experience.
  4. Ask for the next interview.

Have someone carefully proofread your letter, then e-mail as an attachment in MS Word to your Executive Search Consultant for a final proof (we ask you do this in order to avoid a letter being sent out that does not represent you well). Your consultant will make corrections and suggestions. Your Search Consultant knows the hiring managers' needs better than anyone and therefore is a great source for feedback.

Staying Top of Mind

After the follow-up letter, let some time pass. If you have not heard from anyone regarding the opportunity within a week or so, be proactive. You might want to pursue a bit more by doing the following:

Send writing samples that might provide examples of your thought process for the position. Provide a description & background of the work they will be reading.

Be on the lookout for work that the company has done or that their competitors have done so that you can send a quick note about it. This will serve to show the hiring manager that you are already on the job looking out for them. Don't remind them that you are waiting to hear back from them, they will already know this, and will probably give you an update on their own.

Before you do anything however, discuss these options with your Executive Search Consultant. They can give you additional guidance and advice. The important thing is to keep yourself in front of the hiring managers so that they won't forget you while they continue their interviewing process. You also don't want to do too much and appear to be a pest. To help ensure it is done correctly, make sure you work with your search consultant on any and all follow-up communication.

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