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:
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!
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!
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
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,
[New company phone]
[New company website]
Give yourself or a friend my award-winning book Business Writing With Heart: How to Build Great Work Relationships One Message at a Time. I'm happy to inscribe the book for you or your gift recipient.
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. Or go a step further and get them my book Business Writing With Heart: How to Build Great Work Relationships One Message at a Time. It includes many more examples and tips on communicating to build relationships–great advice for recent graduates.
What do you think about building relationships through follow-up messages?
Maybe David will send me chocolates for Christmas. Who knows?