How to Write a Follow Up Email and Shine Bright Like a Diamond
We think that every person should know how to write follow up email letters. It may be helpful in various situations, so let’s proceed with our guide and become more skilled writers.
How to Write a Follow Up Letter: Definition
A follow up letter is a type of business letter that is commonly written after interview, for sending an application to a college or company, and more. A follow up letter shows your interest in the organization, position, person, etc. Also, it highlights your professionalism.
A follow up letter can be a powerful tool, and many candidates underestimate its meaning. While perfecting a resume, many forget about the follow up letter. You can send a follow up letter after any step of the recruiting process just to remind the recruiter about you.
Have you heard about success stories about candidates who were passed on by a company, but eventually got a place just because of the follow up letter? Believe it or not, a follow up letter may work in your situation too. A carefully written letter may melt the heart of the recruitment manager, so why not try?
How to Write a Follow Up Email: Preparing for Writing
So, you have decided that you need to write a follow up letter. Have your palms started to sweat? Stop panicking! First of all, you need to determine why you are writing this letter to create a powerful call to action. Don’t beat around the bush – let the addressee know why you are writing to him or her.
Usually, there are four reasons to write a follow up letter:
- Asking for information. For example, you have passed an interview with the recruiter and want to receive information whether you are hired.
- Arranging a meeting. If you have mentioned to meet with one of your contacts face to face, you can request a meeting by email.
- Reminding about yourself. If you have heard some news about one of your contacts that you haven’t spoken with in a long time, you can give a reminder.
- Saying thank you. This applies to situations where you want to say thank you for certain actions like providing a referral or recommendations.
- Responding to a rejection of your employment. You will show your appreciation of the time spent and show your politeness.
- Declining offer letter. If you have received an offer and you don’t want to take the offer for particular circumstances, send a follow up letter.
There are no strict rules about the timing of your response. But it will be better to send such letters within 48 hours after the interview, receiving the email, conversation, etc. If you want to remind about yourself after sending an application, it will be better to wait for one or two weeks and only then write a follow up letter.
How long should a follow up letter be? We recommend you to make your letter as short as possible. Don’t try to include too many details, as your aim is to respond as quickly as possible.
How to Write a Thank You Follow Up Interview Letter: Step-By-Step Guide
1. Fill in the subject line. The subject line is read before the email is opened, so make sure that your text will invite the recipient to open your letter. Here is a small list of suggestions for your follow-up letter subject line:
- Just tried your line.
- Thank you for your time and insight.
- Thank you, [Name]!
- Appreciate your time today, [Name].
- Excited about [opportunity].
- Hi [Name], have you read my resume?
- Hoping to help.
- The best candidate for [company]. (Why not?)
- So nice to meet you, [Name].
- Feeling blue? Like baby penguins?
For example, your subject line for a follow up letter after the interview may look like this: “Art Director – Alice Green.” This will help the hiring manager quickly understand what your message is about and easily find it within the tons of emails they receive if needed.
2. Write the salutation. The most common salutation starts with “Dear.” it works both for a close relationship and business correspondence. Always try to remember or find out the person’s name and position. If you don’t know the person well, use the first name. If you know more information about the person you write, it will be good to use “Mr.” or “Mrs.” For example, if you are writing to the recruiter about the interview, your salutation may look like this:
- Dear Mr. Brown:
- Dear Ms. Morticia Addams,
Note. You need to put a comma or colon at the end of salutation and then skip a line.
3. Write the body of your follow up letter.
First paragraph. Write the opening sentence. If you are writing to a hiring manager, it will be good to start your letter by saying thanks for the time he or she has spent on the interview.
Second paragraph. Then you need to remind who you are. It may be hard for a person who has met you only once to remember you. Help them reconstruct your meeting in memory. If possible, tell something that will help remember you as an individual:
◦ Refer to the topic that you have discussed during the conversation.
◦ Address a particular concern that you haven’t discussed properly in conversation.
◦ Emphasize the skills important for the position.
Third paragraph. Add more details to your letter. For example, if you are writing a follow up letter after a job interview, you can explain why you are a perfect candidate for the company. Write a brief summary of your strong points. Also, you can mention important things that you have forgotten to tell during the conversation. A follow up letter is a good tool for fixing such problems.
4. Write the closing sentence. Here you can thank the reader for their time and attention. Also, you can ask for a certain action: to give you a call, answer the letter, etc. Leave one space after the text and write the closing:
- Thank you,
- Best regards,
- With appreciation,
Note. You need to add a comma after closing, and then skip a line. Write your full name, phone number, and email. Also, you can insert a link to your LinkedIn profile so the recruiting manager will have the possibility of checking your profile once more.
5. Polish the letter. Make sure that you haven’t made any mistakes in the letter and everything looks nice. The letter should be easy to read and there should be enough space between paragraphs. Use standard font and sizing. Look at the address, names, and the text. If in doubt, ask your friend or close one to take a look at your letter.
6. Send the letter. If you are planning to send the letter via mail, print it on high-quality paper. Avoid colorful paper. Choose white, cream, or light gray.
Follow Up Email Sample
The following sample can be adapted for your own case. It was designed to help you understand the principles of writing a killer follow up letter. Just look at the commentaries from our expert and consider it in your own writing. Also, on our website you can find more samples.
Click on the image to view it in its full size.
Tips on How to Make a Brilliant Follow Up Letter
- Choose the most convenient method of communication with the receiver: post, email, or fax.
- Be proactive. If you are writing a follow-up letter after a job interview, then consider it as a vital part of your job seeking process.
- Be patient and courteous. Remember that some processes, such as being hired for a new job, usually take a while.
- If you have a deadline, then mention it in your letter to create the effect of urgency.
- Follow a standard business format and an official writing style.
- If you are planning to write a follow up letter after the interview or meeting, note down details of your conversation.
- Ask for a business card or write down the interviewer’s title and full name.
- Be brief. Don’t write lengthy letters. A follow-up letter is supposed to be brief.
- Be polite and positive. It is especially important if you want to write a follow up letter after a job rejection.
- Always make sure that you are sending the email to the right person or organization.
As you can see, you can write a follow up email after application, interview, and other occasions. We hope that our guide will help you create a good follow up letter. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, as it’s quite a hard task to learn how to write business letters. If you follow our step-by-step guide and learn from our samples, we believe that you will do the best!