Crafting the Perfect Resume Follow-Up Letter: A How-To Guide

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: September 02, 2022

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There are several times during the hiring process when you may need to follow up with a recruiter in the form of a letter or email. The perfect resume follow-up letter should have a positive tone to convey your professionalism and suitability for the job.

Perfect Resume Tips

1. Choose the Right Medium

Some situations require a formal letter whereas an email is more appropriate in other circumstances. If the initial contact from the recruiter was an email, you may respond via a reply email.

2. Include Appropriate Background Information

If you are replying to an email, be sure to include the original text in the lower portion of your response. When following up on a phone conversation, use your full name in the subject line along with a brief topic such as, “From Bob Smith re: resume submission.”

3. Use the Correct Salutation

The perfect resume follow-up letter should be addressed appropriately. Always use a personal greeting rather than a generic opening such as, “To Whom it May Concern.” If you replying to a written communication, use it to determine the correct level of formality. You may use a first name if the recruiter signed his or her email that way. When in doubt, use Mr. or Ms. followed by the last name.

4. Create a Personal Connection

One goal of your follow-up letter is to forge a personal connection with the recruiter to improve your chances of continuing in the hiring process. Speak in a personal, professional manner without being too chummy.

5. Forget the Form Letter

Even if you are in the midst of an intense job search and replying to several different companies, it’s important to write a personal letter for each one. Using a generic form letter appears lazy.

6. Keep it Concise

A follow-up letter should contain no more than two short paragraphs. The first one should thank the recruiter for the initial contact and respond to his or her request for a resume, interview schedule, or portfolio.

7. Write a Strong Closing

The second paragraph of your letter should politely indicate your interest in continuing the hiring process and provide your phone number for further contact.

8. Choose a Proper Sign-Off

Use an appropriate closing such as, “Sincerely,” or, “Regards,” and then include your full name and contact information.

9. Double Check Your Contact Information

Make sure to look through your phone number and email address to ensure they are correct.

10. Proofread Carefully

It can be tempting to hit the send button as soon as you finish your reply, but take the time to carefully review your letter for typos and grammatical mistakes. Reading aloud helps catch minor errors, and it can also be helpful to have a friend look over your message before you send it.

For guidance and choosing the best free resume template that can help you launch your career journey, turn to MyPerfectResume.

But Don’t Make These Mistakes

When writing multiple communications during a job search, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. Make sure your perfect resume follow-up letter avoids these common mistakes.

1. “It was awesome chatting with you this morning.” Maintaining a personal connection with the reader is important, but using excessively informal language is not appropriate for a business conversation.

2. “Here is a summary of my qualifications.” The recruiter already has your resume and whatever additional references or information he or she has requested. The follow-up letter shouldn’t be a rehash of your experience and skills. Including this information multiple times can look desperate.

3. “Call me this week to schedule an interview.” While you should gently indicate your interest in continuing the process, this sentence is too pushy and forward.

4. “Sincerely, Bob Smith 555-8794” Your phone number should always include the correct area code. Additionally, you should be using a professional-sounding email address that includes your name and doesn’t create any negative connotations.

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