Follow Up Like a Pro
Coffee meetings, networking dates, and job interviews are all the same in that you should always send a follow-up email. The fact that you should let your contact know how much you appreciate her time and willingness to share is universal. But in the case of informational interviews, you’ll also want to reinforce this person as part of your network.
The thing is, expressing your gratitude 24 to 48 hours after the fact isn’t quite enough to cement the connection. You’ll want to take actions to move the relationship forward. By all means, send that thank-you, but as part of a message that says much more.
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar puts it perfectly: “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” If you want to be remembered by an interviewer, find ways to provide value to the person who took time out of their day to meet with you.
Your contact might benefit from meeting someone else in your network, knowing about your favorite productivity app, or reading an article on a topic you chatted about. There is always a way to deliver that value.
Cement your new relationship with some value-heavy follow-up action. Start with a note that lets your interviewer know you paid attention and didn’t waste her time. Throw in your value tidbit—introductions, tools, resources, or recommendations—and end with an action item, like asking for a second call or offering to circle back in a couple of weeks.
Whatever you do, don’t write an essay. Craft something concise like this:
Thanks again for meeting with me today. Here’s the link to my [resume / portfolio / writing samples] that you asked for.
And hey—I recall that you said that [company name / your team] has been struggling with [whatever problem they mentioned].
A few potential fixes came to mind that I wanted to share with you. I’ve included [a list of tools / names of trustworthy vendors / whatever your solution is] that were invaluable to my current team.
Hope that helps! As always, please think of me as a resource—I’d love to help out wherever I can.
All good things,
[Your name here]
Send your note by email (paper notes are cute, but they’re slow and don’t allow you to include links and files). After this, you’ll want to continue to keep the relationship warm. This person is now part of your network! Set up Google Alerts so you can stay in the know on news and updates involving your contact—this way you’ll have a legitimate reason to check in and further the relationship. If you’re not already connected on LinkedIn, send the connection request over and regularly like, comment, and share their updates (yep, wink marketing can work at this stage of the process too).
Even if you don’t end up working for her company tomorrow, you will likely be resources to each other later in life. You never know what doors someone might be able to help you open.
For our last lesson tomorrow, we’ll talk about the single most important thing you can do to land interviews for your dream job.
We’re nearly done!
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