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Follow-Up, Thank You Letters

This resource was written by Allen Brizee.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 7, 2009 .

Summary:
These resources explain how to write follow-up and thank you letters.

Introduction

These resources will help you understand and write successful follow-up and thank you letters. To use these pages, you may select links in the navigation bar on the left, you may select links from the list below, or you may advance through the pages using the links at the bottom of each page. Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

The follow-up and thank you letter pages are organized into the following sections:

Follow-Up & Thank You Letter Overview

This resource was written by Allen Brizee.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on July 31, 2009 .

Summary:
These pages will help you write the follow-up letters for your résumé and cover letter and thank you letters for your interviews.

What are follow-up and thank you letters?

A follow-up letter is a document that applicants send to employers to make sure the company has received the applicant’s résumé and cover letter or application. A thank you letter is a document that applicants send to employers to thank the employer for her time in reviewing a résumé or cover letter. Applicants also send thank you letters after conducting an interview with an employer.

Why do I need to do a follow-up or thank you letter?


You should send a follow-up letter if you have not heard from an employer for two weeks after submitting your résumé and cover letter. You should send a thank you letter if you have interviewed for a job.

How should I follow up on my résumé and cover letter?


You should allow ten days before calling or emailing the employee about your résumé and cover letter. When you contact the employer, remember that they are probably busy. Your résumé and cover letter are very important to you, but the employer is probably doing her job as well as reviewing other cover letters and résumés. Try to be patient. However, it is perfectly acceptable to ask about your job application documents ten days after submission.

Also remember that the goal of your résumé and cover letter is to get an interview for the job opening. When you follow up on your cover letter and résumé, first ask whether or not the employer has received your documents. If the employer received the documents, ask if she has had time to review them. If so, ask if she is setting up interviews yet.

If the employer has not received your résumé and cover letter in the past ten days, offer to resend the documents and double check the employer’s mailing address and contact person. You should also offer to drop off your résumé and cover letter in person. Remember to dress professionally if the company expects it.

How should I follow up on my interview?

You should send a thank you letter after you interview for a job. Sending a thank you letter is professional, and it shows you are still interested in the job. A thank you letter also show that you appreciate the employer taking the time to meet and speak with you. Lastly, a thank you letter reminds the employer about you.

Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

Follow-Up & Thank You Letters Part 1

This resource was written by Allen Brizee.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on July 31, 2009 .

Summary:
This resource explains what your follow-up and thank you letters should look like and explains what your letters should accomplish.

What should my follow-up or thank you letter look like?

Your follow-up letter or thank you letter should be short. Your letter should have 1-inch margins all the way around the page. Your letter text font should match your résumé’s text font. Lastly, your letter should also follow a business letter format. You have three options:

Block format – the text of the entire letter is left justified (against the left margin)

Click here to see an example of block format on the Purdue OWL.

Modified block – the body text of the letter is left justified, but the date and closing are tabbed to the center point

Click here to see an example of modified block format on the Purdue OWL.

Semi-Block – the body text of the letter is left justified except for the first sentence of the paragraphs. The date and closing are tabbed to the center point

Click here to see an example of semi-block format on the Purdue OWL.

Your follow-up letter should do the following:


Your thank you letter should do the following:

Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

Follow-Up & Thank You Letters Part 2

This resource was written by Allen Brizee.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on July 31, 2009 .

Summary:
This resources overviews the sections needed in these letters and explains how to write the heading section.

What should my follow-up and thank you letter include?

Your follow-up letter should include these sections:


Your thank you letter should include these sections:


Please note that your letters need to be free of spelling and grammatical errors. You should also avoid using contractions: won’t, can’t, I’ll. Instead, spell out these words: Will not, cannot, I will.

What should I include in my heading?


The heading is at the top of your cover letter and includes the date, your name, mailing address, and phone number(s). If you have an email account, provide that here. Note that your email address should be professional. In other words, an email address that reads hotchick@yahoo.com is not acceptable. The heading should contain the mailing address of the employer. Here is a sample heading:

June 9, 2009

Karl M. Jones
900 N. 7th St. Apt. 6
Lafayette, IN 47904
765-123-4567
kmjones123@gmail.com

Alex Carson
Manger, A & D Industries
1437 State Route 26
Lafayette, IN 47904
765-891-1011


Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

Follow-Up & Thank You Letters Part 3

This resource was written by Allen Brizee.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on July 31, 2009 .

Summary:
This resource explains how to write an introduction for a follow-up and a thank you letter.

What should I include in my follow-up letter introduction?

The introduction for your follow-up letter should greet a specific person. The introduction should state that you submitted a résumé and cover letter or application. It should ask whether or not the employer has received the documents. The introduction should also state that you are still interested in the job if it is not filled.

Addressing your letter

Address your letter to a specific individual if possible. The person you address should be in charge of interviewing and hiring. Use these steps to get the name of the contact person:


You may address your letter to a group if you cannot find the name of the contact person (note that you should use a colon and not a comma after your greeting):

Dear Hiring Professionals:

Dear Selection Committee:

You may greet the contact person using the full name if you find the contact person but do not know the gender:

Dear Ms. Kincaid: (for Amy Kincaid)

Dear Alex Carson: (for Alex Carson – Alex is usually a male name, but it can also be used for women. Alex can be short for Alexandra.)

Here is an example of an introduction for a follow-up letter:

Dear Alex Carson:

Two weeks ago, I submitted a résumé and cover letter in response to your job ad for the welder apprentice position (#46). I am following up to make sure you received these documents. I am still very interested in interviewing for the job if you have not yet hired someone.


What should I include in my thank you letter introduction?


The introduction for your thank you letter should greet a specific person and thank the employer for taking the time to interview you. The introduction should also mention the specific position and state that you are interested in the job if it is not filled.

Here is an example of an introduction for a thank you letter:

Dear Alex Carson:

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the welder apprentice position (#46) at A & D Industries. I enjoyed speaking with you and am still very interested in working for A & D.


Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

Follow-Up & Thank You Letters Part 4

This resource was written by Allen Brizee.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on July 31, 2009 .

Summary:
This resources explains how to write body paragraphs and closings for a follow-up and a thank you letter.

What should I include in my body paragraph for a follow-up letter?

The body paragraph should be very short and should explain that you would like to meet with the employer in person to discuss the job. The paragraph should also state briefly why you would like to work for the company and how you can help. Lastly, the paragraph should explain that you are willing to resubmit your résumé and cover letter or application, in person if necessary.

Here is an example of a body paragraph for a follow-up letter:

I am looking forward to meeting with you to discuss the welder apprentice position and how I can help A & D Industries. I feel that my years of welding experience will allow me to be a valuable member of your team. If you have not received my résumé and cover letter, I would be happy to resubmit them or drop them off in person.

What should I include in the body paragraph for my thank you letter?


The body paragraph should be very short. The paragraph should explain that you understand the challenges of the position but are willing and eager to work for the company. Lastly, the paragraph should explain how you will help the company.

Here is an example of a body paragraph for a thank you letter:

I realize that the welder apprentice position can be challenging because of the long hours and hectic work environment. However, I am sure that my years of welding and experience working in fast-paced jobs will allow me to excel at A & D Industries.

What should I include in my closing in a follow-up letter?

The closing should provide your phone and email contact, and you should sign you name. Here is an example of a closing:

If you have any questions, please call me at 765-123-4567. You may also email me at kmjones @ gmail.com.


Sincerely,

/signed/

Karl M. Jones



What should I include in my closing for a thank you letter?


The closing for a thank you letter should explain that it was a pleasure meeting with the employer to discuss the job. The closing should also state that you look forward to hearing back from the employer about what to do next. Lastly, you should provide your phone and email contact information and sign your name.

Here is an example of a closing:

It was a pleasure meeting with you and learning more about the welder apprentice position at A & D Industries. I look forward to hearing from you about the position. If you have any questions, please call me at 765-123-4567. You may also email me at kmjones @ gmail.com.


Sincerely,

/signed/


Karl M. Jones


Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

References
:
Job Search Tools: Resumes, Applications, and Cover Letters by Ronald C. Mendlin and Marc Polonsky with J. Michael Farr. The Putting the Bars Behind You Series. Indianapolis: JIST, 2000.

Purdue OWL Cover Letter and Résumé resources: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/.

Some of this information is also adapted from Jobbankuse.com: http://www.jobbankusa.com.