Strong, persistent and professional follow-up is an essential element of the job search process. As a result of meetings, discussions and networking with potential employers, we all know to send thank you notes via email, LinkedIn or other electronic means. Being a good listener is important to ensure communications are personalized and focused on specific talking points.
Another great strategy and way to differentiate yourself is the “follow-through” letter. A “follow-through” letter summarizes what would occur should you enter into employment with a business. The letter should be reserved for the individual you view as the main decision maker, the manager you would be working under, and/or someone that you view as your advocate in the selection process. The content of the letter should focus on three main outcomes of your employment with the company. The bullet points should be customized to the needs of the manager and/or organization, but in context focus on three major elements:
- The company manager will be able to focus more time on what they like or do best. Through your questions, you should be able to identify what each interviewer likes and does best. Say something like, “It should be quite evident from my skill set, work history and our discussions that you would be able to spend more time in the areas that are most beneficial to the company.”
- The company will be able to further differentiate themselves in the market. Go to their website. What is important to the company, their stakeholders and/or their clients? How will you be able to enhance that differentiation (or not get in the way of it)?
- The company will grow client base, expand market share, increase revenues, and/or reduce expenses. What transferrable skills to you bring to the table that impact any/all of these elements? What would the impact of improvement be to the company, employees, stakeholders and/or clients?
Do not speak in generalities with any of these major elements. Be specific and descriptive in terms of company needs, your value and the impact of your addition to the team. Close the letter with a call to action statement that includes a request for the opportunity to discuss the points in more detail, and that if mutually agreeable, that you look forward to embarking on this journey with the manager and the company.
The “follow-through” letter confirms your understanding of what is important to the company and the impact that you intend to make on their success.