Emails are an important tool in any job, but they’re also incredibly important in the job search. One of the best practices that set a job seeker apart from the others is following up with a potential employer after meeting with them for the first time. Since the hardest part of networking isn’t introducing yourself but rather actually maintaining your contacts, the success of holding onto relationships with other professionals will depend on the number of emails you send out to them.
However, just like in every email, there are certain rules you need to follow. Having a clear idea of what you want to write can help you create the perfect email with the right message you want to get across. So, if you want these professionals to keep in touch with you and recognize you as a suitable job candidate for future positions, you need to let them know that.
Here are the five email templates that can help you create the perfect email for networking and following up:
1. Meeting someone at a networking event
If you’ve met an employer at a careers fair or networking event and who has given you his contact details, then you have the perfect excuse to drop him an email. While you might find this is awkward – because, honestly: how much do you really know about this person? – it should not stop you from making that very important first step. It might help if you can find something to talk about in the email, e.g.: commenting on what he is currently working on. Alternatively, you can simply catch up where you had left off.
Hi [contact’s name],
It was great meeting you at [name of event] on [date]. I found our discussion about [the subject] really interesting and would love to hear more about what you do. I noticed on your LinkedIn profile that you’re working on [current job duties/responsibility] and this is something that could tie well with what I’m currently working on. Let me know if you would like to grab a coffee whenever you are free.
2. Reaching out to a person in a higher position
Contacting a person in a senior position might be intimidating but it’s something you most often will have to do if you want to be considered for a job with them. Provided that you’ve already made your first contact with this person, you can send him an email to meet up again.
Dear [contact’s name],
It’s been a pleasure talking with you/listening to your speech about [the subject] which I found very inspiring. I was particularly impressed with [a specific area of his work]. If you’re willing and free to meet up, I would love to take you to coffee and learn more about what you do.
3. Contacting the friend of a friend
If you’re contacting an acquaintance or someone you met briefly who is a friend of a friend, you can drop him an email to find out what he’s currently up to. Even though sending out a professional email to someone you met at a party may be weird, you should definitely go for it if you think connecting with this person will help you out.
Hi [contact’s name],
It was great meeting you at the party the other day. My friend told me that you work at [place where he works] and I would love to get to know more about what you’re currently working on as [job title]. If you have time this week, I would love to meet up with you for a coffee and talk about [area you are interested in].
Thank you in advance,
4. Talking to someone you've never met
Sending an email to a LinkedIn connection whom you have only met virtually can help you introduce yourself and then maintain some sort of contact. Doing so would be beneficial for both of you, considering that you might have something for him in return. The best way to approach someone you don’t know is to compliment them on their work, offer your help, or ask for their advice.
Dear [contact’s name],
How are you? I took the liberty to contact you and tell you that your résumé and skills in [his job/field of work] are impressive. In fact, I found that your [work/project he worked on] was [impact it had on you or others] and would like to discuss this further with you. Let me know if you would be interested in setting up a meeting whenever you are free.
5. Connecting with an old coworker
When you’re searching for a new job, your past colleagues can give you a hand. Apart from that, though, they’re great at giving you feedback on your work and introducing you to other professionals in the field. Start a conversation with them, and if you don’t know how to go about it, start by talking about something they will find useful.
Hi [contact’s name]
How are you doing? I hope that you are well and that you’re enjoying work at [company name]. I just wanted to tell you about this [article] I read yesterday and sent it to you as I thought it would be something you would be interested in. Let me know what you think and hope to catch up with you soon.
See also: Sending a Better Email
Constructing the perfect networking email isn’t as difficult as you think it is, especially when you know what you’re after. So, once you’ve determined the purpose of reaching out to the other person, you will find that following up and asking them out for a coffee will be far much easier – and far less awkward.
Have you ever sent out a follow-up email to another professional or employer? How did it go and what was their response? Let me know in the comments section below…