When you send out a letter of interest, that should be enough to express your desire in the position, right? Perhaps it should be, but, in many cases, your letter is one of dozens. This means you need to have to do something extra to stand out from the rest. In order to reinforce your interest, these extra measures help people identify the people who are just as invested in them and their goals as they are. Here are some suggestions from following up that letter of interest, so you can improve your odds.
The Follow-Up Phone Call
The first thing you should do is follow up your letter of interest with a phone call a day or two later. If the letter was addressed to someone in particular, ask to speak to that individual. Otherwise, ask for the department to which the letter was sent. This is your opportunity to ask if the letter was received and to clarify any questions they may have about its contents. This is a second chance to make a good impression, so be cordial and personable, but also direct.
Call Until You Speak to Someone
Often, you may not get any further than a voicemail. While it’s important to leave a message, you shouldn’t settle with that. Continue to call, until you do talk with a live person. If you stop calling, they may think that you’ve lost interest in working with them.
Send Another Letter of Interest
If the organization doesn’t get back to you, it may mean you’ve hit them at a busy time. You might try sending a second letter of interest. Perhaps wait for a period and try again in the next season, when they may not be as busy. Often, a failure to connect is simply the result of bad timing.
If you get a response and it’s a rejection, don’t let that get you down. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about your approach. If a reason for the rejection isn’t detailed in the letter, contact the organization and request feedback. Perhaps you can provide more information next time, or maybe your proposal wasn’t quite what they wanted.
Timing can often be as important as the content of your letter of interest, so don’t let one or two rejections throw you off. As you learn more about your area of interest, you’ll adapt to become more adept at reading individual organizations. This will help you write better letters of interest and improve your chances of acceptance.