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Still Waiting for a Thank-You and an Update

At no charge, I helped a young man (the friend of a friend of mine) with his resume. We met in person and exchanged several emails. I also gave him feedback on his LinkedIn profile.

This is the last message I received from him:

Hi Lynn,

Our meeting left me feeling productive, so I’ve gotten started on my to-do list. I’m still waiting to hear back about the LinkedIn testimonials, but everything else is going good.

I’ve attached my resume for you to look over with the updated profile. It made a lot more sense after looking over the examples you sent me.


David (not his real name)

I reviewed David’s resume a final time, making a few small but necessary corrections, and I sent the corrections to him with another LinkedIn suggestion. I did not hear from him again.

Meanwhile, I have heard through the grapevine that David has gotten a full-time professional position at a growing company. Landing this job was a triumph since David had been looking for work since his graduation more than a year ago.

I am still watching for a thank-you note from David. I am still waiting for a message from him telling me he got the job. It’s been at least two months.

For David and others who have been helped in their job searches, I have two suggestions:

1. Write a thank-you note to any individuals who have helped you. Show that you appreciate their efforts. Display your good manners and professionalism.

The note can be an email or a LinkedIn message. Better yet, make it an actual note on paper. Here is an email example: 

Subject: Thanks for Your Help!

Dear Shaaz,

Thank you for meeting with me to talk about my job search. Your ideas about working as a virtual assistant have me intrigued and excited. I will sit down this afternoon to review the websites you recommended.

I appreciate your kind offer to stay in touch and continue to share ideas. You will hear from me!

With thanks and best regards,



This one is a sample note on a greeting card: 

John, thank you for your advice on my job-search this year. I am grateful for your creative suggestions, and I feel confident that I will find the right opportunity in the coming months. I will keep you posted.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your colleagues, and your family!

Stacey Brown


2. Let people in your network know when you have accepted a job. Inform them so they can enjoy your success with you. Keep them in the information loop so they feel included and appreciated.

You can write to an individual or a group of people who have helped you. The email below is for a group.

Subject: Announcing My New Position

Greetings, friends!

I have looked forward to the day when I could share this good news: On October 1, I became a group home manager for XYZ Homecare. My responsibilities include hiring, training, and supervising group home staff to ensure that residents get the best care possible.

This position fits well with my training and goals, and I am very happy about it. The company has a solid reputation for integrity and high-quality care, and I see a good future for me here.

I appreciate your support and guidance as I searched for a job. Thank you for everything.

My best regards,

Dale Smith

[New company phone]
[New company website

Why should David and others take the time to follow up? Because following up builds relationships, and good relationships are a key to success in business and in life. Through relationships we learn about new opportunities, get advice and information when we need it, feel supported when we go out on a limb, and generally feel connected.

If you know young people–or people at any age–who are searching for a job, help them build relationships. Share this blog post.

What do you think about building relationships through follow-up messages?

Maybe David will send me chocolates for Christmas. Who knows?


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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

13 comments on “Still Waiting for a Thank-You and an Update”

  • It is very useful. your words will enlighten the people of such thought process. Most of the people and youth have this attitude of double approach i.e when in need submissive, humble and once that is over come back to their original nature. They use people. i want to tell one thing. we should use things and love people but it is happening the other way round. We use people and love things..

  • I’m very grateful that you raised this issue. It seems to me that within’working relationships most of the things are instrumental, just like the other commentator said it: using something/somebody to achieve something. For example, people practice patience (which is another virtue or good quality just like appreciation) as long as they get what they want.
    So thank you so much for another great tip, examples and thought provoking newsletter. Best wishes

  • Saidarao and Szilvia, thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    Saidarao, I appreciate your counsel that we use things and love people. Very wise.

    Szilvia, I am glad you appreciated the topic. You are most welcome!


  • Dear Lynn,
    I’m grateful for your guidance on Thanks for your help, I am so much better in writing.
    I cannot agree with you more on this topic, it’s definitely a good guide for everyone in building relationships.
    I wish you a happy Thanks Giving!
    Warm regards,
    Minh Sang.

  • Dear Lynn,

    I appreciate your writing, you actually write from heart, I regularly try to follow your blog..

    I am writing because, I got inspiration to say “Thank you.” after reading this article, I was one of your millions followers who had no time to say thank you even after getting benefited from your articles.

    Thanks again, May God bless you.
    Best Regards

  • Dear Lynn,

    Thank you for all the write-ups. I have found your creative suggestions on the above very useful. I do hope the younger generation will learn from you.

    Kind regards,

  • Oh no! Is this a typo?
    Give yourself or a friend my award-winning book Business Writing With Heart: How to Build Great Work Relationships One Message at a Time. Use the coupon code gift and get $5 off each copy through December 15, 2016. I’m happy to inscribe the book for your or you gift recipient.

    Shouldn’t it be:
    I’m happy to inscribe the book for you or your gift recipient? your or you – you or your

    I appreciate your emails, I have learned so much by taking a few minutes to read them.

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