By Katie R. Day, Quinnipiac University School of Law
Around this time of year, I see the same question popping up on law school message boards and in law student’s conversations. “How do I follow up?”
The question applies to so many scenarios: job and internship interviews, networking events, bar association conferences, etc. You go to the event or the interview, you have a great time, you go home, and then what? The next step is to send a brief follow-up message. Exactly how does that work? Check out the tips below!
For an event…
Events are less formal than job interviews, so your follow-up message can reflect that. The easiest and most convenient way to follow up is either via email or LinkedIn. I’m personally a big fan of using LinkedIn, especially if you’re just looking to add the person to your network. As a LinkedIn connection, the person will be able to see your updates and stay in touch easier. When you send a connection request on LinkedIn, accompany it with a brief personal message reminding the person how/where you met.
If you have a specific request (ie. you want to get coffee or do an informational interview), it’s better to send an email. Once again, make sure to remind the person how you met to refresh their memory and then make your request.
Neither the LinkedIn message or the email need to be long or complex. Start with “It was great meeting you at the [X networking event] on [Y date].” And then follow up with your request. For example, “I’d like to add you to my network and keep in touch.” Or “Would you be available sometime next week to grab a cup of coffee and talk more about [Z]?” Simple as that.
For a job/ internship interview…
You’ll likely want your interview follow-up to be a bit more in-depth than an event follow-up. Start by thanking the person for taking time to meet with you and discuss the position. If it’s applicable, highlight a part of the conversation the piqued your interest or an aspect of the position you find especially intriguing. If the interviewer asked for any additional info, like references or a writing sample, be sure to include that in this email as well. And last, but certainly not least, express your enthusiasm for the position.
Since your employer is likely doing other interviews and looking to make decisions in a short time frame, it’s recommended that you send your follow up email within 24 hours of the interview. If you interview with multiple people, make sure you collect all of their business cards at the end of the interview and send each one a personalized email.
An additional tip: Keep a template, like the one below, bookmarked so after your interview you can easily pull it up, edit, and send it out!
Mr or Ms. XX,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today about [X position]. It was great to meet you and learn more about the position. The work your firm/company does with Y and Z is impressive. The experience that I would bring with with X or Y sounds like it could be a great fit.
I‘m excited about the opportunity to join your team and look forward to discussing next steps.
Thank you again for your time.
Be sure to check out additional legal internships, clerkships and clinics tips here.