While you network, it is critical that you are able to communicate clearly and professionally. Professional correspondence can show potential employers whether you are ready to succeed in a professional environment. The information and samples provided below can help you communicate well in the professional world.
- Serves as the first point of contact through a LinkedIn connection, family or friend referral, or organization website
- If possible, establish a "common ground" or point of familiarity with the recipient
- Keep the message brief and to the point
- Give your reason for contact, and the action steps of the message should be clear
- The intent is to open the conversation; you can get more specific over the phone
- Be aware of grammar, spelling, and professional tone
- If you do not receive a response within 1-2 weeks, it's ok to send another message
- Maintain communication over time - share professional development updates, interesting articles, etc.
Sample: Initial Outreach
Dear Ms. Evans:
I am a junior at the College of William & Mary with an interest in wildlife conservation and education, and was excited to see your position of Marketing Director at the Indianapolis Zoo on your LinkedIn profile.
I wanted to reach out to a William & Mary alum in this field and was hoping you could provide me with some advice and information. My experience at the Heritage Humane Society has sparked my desire to seek an internship at a zoo this summer. I know this field is competitive, and want to best prepare myself as an applicant. Public outreach is an interest of mine, and I was impressed by the variety of programs in place through your department. Is it possible to schedule a brief phone meeting with you (20 minutes) to learn more about the organization and your career path? I have a flexible schedule and would be happy to talk at your convenience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sample: Staying in Touch
I hope you are well, and enjoying the beautiful fall colors. During our conversation over the summer, we discussed my volunteer position at the Heritage Humane Society and the events we were planning. I am happy to report that all three were successful! I further developed my photography and graphic design skills with the "Tails on the Trail" and "Drool in the Pool" events, and enjoyed blogging for the "Animal Camp" program. You can see and read the event highlights at www.heritagehs.org/events. I'm looking forward to my junior year at William & Mary and hope we'll continue to stay in touch.
Have a great day!
Thank You Message
- Remember, a thank you goes a long way and can be a determining factor for the employer!
- Be bold; tell them you want the position and look forward to being a part of their team
- Send after an interview (job or internship), preferably within 48 hours
- Can be emailed or hand-written
- Send a tailored message to each interviewer, if possible
- Reiterate your interest and fit for the position
- Include a specific item/topic discussed during the interview
- Offer additional information and/or materials if needed
Sample: Thank You
Dear Ms. Jones:
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the Communications Coordinator position at the National Zoo. I enjoyed learning about the vision for the position and how it fits with the Zoo's overall mission.
I was especially excited about the new public outreach initiative involving various social media channels, including the "Connect with your Zoo" campaign. I believe my marketing experience with the Indianapolis Zoo matches well with the desired skills you are seeking, and my time as a student athlete has prepared me for the fast-paced environment of the Zoo's communication department.
I am enthusiastic about this position and the opportunity to join and contribute to your team. Please let me know if you need any additional information or have any other questions.