In a competitive job market, you need to stand out in every step of the hiring process. Once you’ve dazzled an employer with your resume, cover letter and interview, sending a follow-up email can help seal the deal! In a survey by TopResume, 68% of hiring managers and recruiters indicated that a thank you message after an interview could impact their decision-making process.
In today’s digital world, an email is preferable to a typed or handwritten letter, and you should send your follow-up email the same day as your interview. You want to re-enforce your interest in the position before an interviewer makes their decision, and express your openness to provide anything else that may be needed (references, portfolio, etc.).
Here are some tips to write an effective follow-up email that is personal, thoughtful, concise (max 3-4 short paragraphs) and memorable:
- Ensure professionalism
Your follow-up email makes an impression on the recruiter or hiring manager, so it is important to ensure your writing is polished and professional. You may be excited after the interview, but be sure to take the time to meticulously proofread for spelling, grammar and punctuation before you send the email.
- Convey gratitude
Recruiters and interviewers have spent their time and consideration on you since first reading your resume and cover letter. Be sure to write your follow-up email with this in mind, expressing your gratitude and thanking them for their time in a professional manner.
- Demonstrate knowledge gained
Share anything new or particularly captivating you may have learned about the company during your interview and why you found it interesting. This could include a past or upcoming project, community initiatives or operational practices. You could also mention a shared interest you may have discussed with the interviewer (such as a charity you both volunteer with, or an event you were both attending) but avoid getting too personal.
- Express your enthusiasm & fit for the role
The gesture of sending a follow-up email implies your excitement for the job, but be sure to state it outright. Briefly highlight your strengths and the value you specifically can bring to this employer based on the conversation you had. Write with confidence in your abilities and avoid using words like “just”, “only” or “a little bit.”
Do not explain why you want any job; state why you want this specific job. Thank the interviewer, let them know you look forward to hearing back regarding the position, and indicate your openness to provide any other information they may need.
Note on Working with a Recruiter
If you have had an interview with an employer that was organized by a recruiter, it’s essential to follow up with the recruiter before messaging the employer directly. Send a thank you to the recruiter for organizing the interview, let them know how it went and ask whether they recommend that you send a follow-up message directly to the employer.
Some employers prefer that the recruiter act as the intermediary when communicating with candidates. In other cases, the recruiter might give you the go-ahead to contact the employer directly, but may wish to proofread your email first.
Sample Follow-Up Email
Dear Priya Agarwal,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today regarding the Marketing Manager position with Widget Company.
I enjoyed our discussion about the specific challenges your team is currently facing differentiating your brand in the widget market. I faced a very similar situation in my previous role with Gadget Company, and in my first year led a corporate rebrand that resulted in a 20% increase in overall brand awareness.
I’ve thought a lot about our conversation and how excited I would be to leverage my experience in competitive market research and project coordination to help you reach your goals. I share your corporate values of sustainability and giving back to the community, and would welcome the opportunity to be a strong contributor on your team.
Please let me know if you need any additional information as you make this hiring decision. I look forward to your response.