How To Write a Follow-Up Letter (With Template and Example)
Updated July 19, 2023
A follow-up letter is an important step for distinguishing yourself during the interview process. It enables you to add anything you may have forgotten to include in your application and reaffirm your enthusiasm for the position. Understanding the important parts you should include in your follow-up letter can make it easier to write one that will grab the attention of the hiring manager.
In this article, we discuss why a follow-up letter is important, when you should send one and what to include. We also share the steps you can take to write a follow-up letter, and a template and example to give you ideas for how to craft your own.
Why is a follow-up letter important?
Whether you decide to send a follow-up letter that is printed out or by email, here are multiple reasons why a follow-up letter is important. First, it shows good manners and professionalism. It also allows you to mention anything you forgot to say during your interview and reiterate why you believe you are the ideal fit for the job. Sending a follow-up letter reconfirms your interest in the position and allows you to check on the status of your application. A follow-up letter could even help your resume get a second look if it was initially passed over.
Finally, it helps to remind the hiring manager who you are, helping you to stand out as a candidate. If you aren't hired for this specific position, if you stand out as a strong candidate to the hiring manager, they may consider you for another position at a later date.
When to send a follow-up letter
Timing is important when you are sending a follow-up letter expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to interview. You should always send it within 24 hours of the contact. If your interviewer indicated that the time frame to make their decision is coming up quickly, then it would be better for you to send your follow-up letter as an email. If the time frame is longer than a few weeks, you could print out your letter and send it by postal mail.
If you are following up to ask for an update on the hiring process, when you send it depends on the timeline for the hiring process. If the company intends to hire someone relatively soon, you may want to send a follow-up email asking if there is an update a few days or a week after your initial follow-up letter. If the company shares that they don't intend to have a decision for a month, for example, wait and send your follow-up note closer to that time.
What to include in a follow-up letter
There are four things you should always include in a follow-up letter. They are:
Appreciation: The most important thing to include in your follow-up letter is an appreciation for the interviewer's time and consideration.
Reminder of who you are: Include details to help the hiring manager remember which candidate you were, as it's possible they spoke with dozens of candidates interested in the position.
Why you are a strong candidate: Include a brief summary of the benefits you could offer the company and what you would specifically bring to the position.
Details you forgot in the interview: If there were any important details you forgot to include in your application or failed to mention during your phone screening or interview, you should include them in your follow-up letter.
How to write a follow-up letter
Here are the steps you should take to write an impactful follow-up letter:
1. Use proper formatting and structure
Write your follow-up letter using a block format, where the entire text is left-aligned and single-spaced. The letter should be easily readable, with font that is between 10 and 12 points in size and a professional font style, such as Arial, Helvetica, Calibri or Times New Roman.
2. Add contact information and the date
At the top, add your contact information, including your name, address, email address and phone number. Skip a line under your contact information and then add the date. After the date, skip another line and then add the recipient's contact information, including their name, title, company name and company address.
3. Include a salutation
Include a simple salutation such as "Dear," and address the person you interviewed with by name. For example, "Dear Mr. Roberts."
4. Express appreciation
This is the most important part of every follow-up letter. Express your appreciation, whether it's for the interviewer taking the time to consider you for a position or whether it's for looking into the status of your application.
5. Express your enthusiasm
In the next paragraph, express your enthusiasm for the role. Add any details you may have neglected to mention during the interview and reaffirm why you would be the ideal fit for that specific role.
6. Complimentary close and name
After you are done with the main body of the letter, include a complimentary close. Some complimentary closes that work well are "Sincerely," "Yours truly," or "Best." After the complimentary close, type your name. If you plan to print and mail the letter, leave a blank space before your typed name to include your handwritten signature.
Follow-up letter template
Here is a template you can use to create your own follow-up letter:
Thank you again for taking the time out of your schedule to talk to me about the [position] with [company]. I was truly impressed with your organization and the team environment within the [department] and I would welcome the opportunity to be part of that.
In addition to a strong educational background and a passion for [industry/role], I also bring [number] years of experience as a [position]. [Elaborate on experience that qualifies you for the role or any qualifications that you failed to mention in your interview.]
I look forward to hearing from you once the final decision is made. If you need references or any other information, feel free to contact me at [phone number]. Thank you again for your consideration.
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Example of a follow-up letter
Use this follow-up letter example to give you ideas as you craft your own letter:
555 32nd Street
Houston, TX 94212
June 22, 2020
Director of IT
Houston, TX 94212
Dear Ms. Myers,
I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to discuss the Senior Web Developer position with me. After witnessing your department's strong team environment and learning more about the position, I feel strongly that I am the perfect candidate for this role.
In addition to my enthusiasm, strong educational background and specialized certifications, I bring over 10 years of experience in web development. Having worked with a wide variety of clients and companies in varying industries, I bring the quick learning and adaptability that are necessary for this role.
I am excited about the opportunity to work with such a talented and motivated team and look forward to hearing from you. If you need further information, such as my list of references, contact me at 555-555-5555. Thank you again.
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