You sent off your cover letters and resumé and completed the required online applications. You conducted informational interviews and talked to people in your career field who connected you to other professionals in the field. You interviewed, worked through case studies, presented your recommendations, participated in more interviews and finally, after all your hard work, you got the job!
You deserve to celebrate. But, like it or not, there’s still one more step in your job search. You need to close the loop by sending a “thank-you, I’ve accepted a position email (or call)” to the people you connected with during your job search.
This often-overlooked step leaves a strong, positive and professional impression with people that can pay big dividends for you in the future, just as it did for David, a junior at highly ranked liberal arts college:
“I spoke with the partner I had the most contact with during the interview process. He told me I was their top candidate for the internship position and although he was disappointed, he understood why I accepted the internship offer that I did. He said to contact him after my summer internship to hear about how it went and to see if his company might be a good fit when I graduate.”
David closed the loop while, at the same time, left the door open for a future opportunity.
Who to close the loop with:
It’s not necessary to close the loop with everyone you spoke with during your job search. A telephone or Skype interview with the HR person that didn’t go any further doesn’t require a close-the-loop email. However, if you talked with an outsourced/external recruiter for the position, it’s a good investment to send the email. Why? Because it’s likely this recruiter works with companies to fill entry-level/junior positions and it’s a good contact to have for the future. Here’s who else belongs on your close the loop email list.
- Anyone you had an informational interview with, particularly those who connected you to others. This is a way for you to build your professional network.
- People you interviewed with multiple times and/or stayed involved during the interview process. They liked you and it’s a way for them to know which companies they are competing with for young talent.
- The employers who made you an offer you did not accept. You always want to leave the door open for opportunities with these people and employers.
Be sure to let your school’s career services center know, even if they were not involved in your job search. They should want to know where their students have landed jobs.
How to format:
There is no standard format for a close-the-loop email though it should generally be brief, open with a “thank you”, tell the person where you landed, and include—if you haven’t asked already—an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
Dear Mr. Smith:
Thank your for the opportunity to interview with XYZ. I appreciate the support you provided during the interview process. I’m happy to tell you that I’ve accepted a position with The Big Name Company in Chicago starting June 1st.
My contact information will stay the same (see below). Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help to you. I’m also sending you an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
Signature (includes at minimum your name, phone, email)
This email is short, gracious and informative.
When to send:
Unlike your interview thank-you emails, you do not need to get the close-the-loop emails out immediately unless someone is waiting to hear from you such as another employer and then a phone call is more appropriate. You have time but don’t wait too long. You don’t want the connection you worked hard to make go cold.