Major Document 1: CorrespondenceIntroductionIn chapter 14 – https://learn-us-east-1-prod-fleet02-xythos.conten…
of your text, Markel talks to us about various kinds of professional correspondence, including the most prevalent – email. When we think about the recipients of our professional communication, we need to remember that they are busy and want information fast. We also need to consider what they need. In this assignment, we’ll work to compose a concise and direct follow-up email to a person who recently interviewed you for a job.
Why write a follow-up email?Most of you have applied and interviewed for employment before, whether that be a starter job at a fast food place or a professional position. Because you’re all actively earning an education, it’s safe to assume your goal is to get a better job with more pay and more responsibility. The application process for these kinds of jobs doesn’t end with the interview, even if you ‘nailed it’. A follow-up email is a great way of letting the employer know that you’re serious about the job and that you have good communication skills.
But…this isn’t just any old email. You have to follow some key steps to ensure you’re not making common mistakes that may hurt your chances of getting the job.
Steps to writing a follow-up emailPre-writing work:Step 1: Choose the right timeAn effective follow-up email aims to remind the interviewer who you are and what you talked about and to let them know you’re still interested in the job. Wait a few days; you don’t want to send it right after the interview. Ideally, you’ll send your follow-up email 4-5 days after the interview.
Step 2: Make a listThink back to the interview – what did you talk about? What did you say that the interviewer seemed particularly happy about? This kind of information is important to include in your follow-up email.
Step 3: Setting the toneRemember that employers are busy and appreciate quick, easily digestible content. You’re not writing an essay here, so remember that when you begin drafting your email that you need to keep to the point.
Writing the email:For the all of the following steps, we’ll use this scenario: I recently interviewed for two jobs. One was for a university with people I know and/or have met before. The other was with a nonprofit organization where I knew no one.
Step 1: Choose an appropriate subject lineYour subject line tells the reader what the primary content of your email will be. It’s never appropriate to leave a subject line empty, and it’s equally damaging for a subject line to be silly, unprofessional, or lack context.
Think about your audience here. What kind of relationship do you have with them? Do you already know the reader, or is this person a stranger?
My subject lines might look like this:
Academic job Subject line: Interview follow-up
Nonprofit job Subject line: Angela Shaffer – Re: Interview on Friday at 11 a.m.
I chose the less specific subject line for the academic job because a) I know them, they know me, and b) I know they only interviewed 3 candidates.
I chose the more formal subject line for the nonprofit job because a) I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and b) I have no idea how many applicants they had.
Step 2: Opening salutationWhen writing your opening salutation (Dear Mr. Smith), think again about the level of formality that is appropriate for your reader. If you’ve communicated with this person a lot via email, phone call, and/or face-to-face, you may be on a first name basis. If that president has not been set, though, keep it professional. Always remember to spell the recipient’s name right and use the proper title.
Going back to my example scenario, my opening salutations might look like this:
Academic job: Hi Amber,
Nonprofit job: Dear. Ms. Nuenberger,
I can get away with the much less formal opening salutation for the academic job follow-up email because there’s an established relationship there and we’re on a first name basis. I had never met Ms. Smith, though, so I kept it formal.
***a quick note about addressing women: Unless they indicate otherwise, ALWAYS use “Ms.” Rather than “Miss” or “Mrs.” when addressing women in a professional setting.
Step 3: Body of your emailThe content of your email will be based on your individual interviewing experiences. Did you interview with someone you know, or a stranger? What kind of information does the reader already know about you or the job? What should they be reminded of?
Here’s the basic content layout of every follow-up email:
Thank them for the interview.
State that you’re writing to follow up on the interview. Make sure to mention the job title and location (if appropriate) and the date of the interview.
Reiterate your interest in the job and that you’re excited to learn about the next steps.
Kindly ask for a progress update. Let them know that any information they share with you will be greatly appreciated.
**this last step is important because it will be more likely to prompt a response from them
Step 4: Closing signatureKeep it neat and simple, but remember formality. My closing signature lines might look like this:
Academic job: Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Nonprofit job: Thank you again for your time and consideration.
There’s a noticeable difference in the level of formality, again based on my level of familiarity with the readers.
After you’re done writingEDIT!!!! I can’t stress this enough. How many times have you written an email, text message, or Facebook reply and misspelled something? How many times have you thought, “well, that was stupid”? If you, like me, are not perfect, then it’s a great idea to look over your email before sending it.
My rule of thumb: Write the email, then walk away for at least a few hours. Then come back – you’ll be much more likely to see and successfully correct mistakes with fresh eyes.
Also, it’s totally fine to have someone else look over your email before you send it. The best writing is done when we have input from others.
Putting it all togetherHere are my two completed emails. Remember that my level of formality is dependent on my familiarity with the readers.
Academic job (less formal, I know the reader)Hi Amber,
I’m emailing thank you for your consideration and to follow up on my adjunct position Zoom interview last Friday at noon. I am excited for the opportunity to teach for OIT and contribute to the university’s learning community. I am particularly interested in working collaboratively to further develop and implement the Certificate of Technical Communication program. Please let me know what the next steps are and if you need anything else from me.
Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Nonprofit job (more formal, I don’t know the reader)Dear. Ms. Nuenberger,
I am emailing to thank you for our interview on July 15 at 2 p.m. and for considering me for the position of Manager for Meals on Wheels of Lubbock, TX. I was excited to learn more about your organization and am confident my combination of education and in-depth experience with nonprofit and community engagement is exactly what is needed to improve Meals on Wheels’ reach and its bottom line.
I am hoping to get an update on the position and where you are in the hiring process. I am also available to answer any additional questions you may have at your convenience.
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Your assignmentAfter reading everything above, think about your own experiences with jobs or organizational involvement. Then, using Word, draft a follow up email to the audience of your choice.
I have attached a sample Word document which includes one of the sample emails above.MD1 Sample fall 2020.docx
You must include:
To & Subject lines
Body of your email that includes closing signature line + your nameThanks or the interview.
Why you’re writing + mention of job and date of interview
Reiteration of your interest
Request for progress update
Closing signature line + your name