Document 36020

 Jones Graduate School of Business Career Management Center [email protected] P: 713-­‐348-­‐3246 F: 713-­‐348-­‐5838 BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE • N ETWORKING L ETTER /E MAIL & I NFORMATIONAL .. I NTERVIEW R EQUESTS • F OLLOW -­‐ UP E MAIL /M AINTAINING N ETWORK C ONTACTS • F OLLOW -­‐U P E MAIL C ORRESPONDENCE (AS RELATED TO INTERVIEWING, DECLINING OFFERS, COMMUNICATING CONFLICTS) • T HANK YOU L ETTER /E MAIL • O NLINE A PPLICATION • R EFERENCES This business correspondence guide provides the general formats for business and thank you letters, tips for successful outreach and discusses the basic writing style guidelines to assist you in constructing your own letters. June 2011 N ETWORKING L ETTER /E MAIL AND I NFORMATIONAL I NTERVIEW R EQUESTS WHAT IS NETWORKING? True networking is simply a mutual exchange of information between people who have common interests and goals. Good networking is a lifelong process that takes time and is a skill that can be learned and therefore refined. You should be building and maintaining these relationships before you need them; start now! Although networking can sometimes result in an opportunity, it should not be solely about using others to find jobs or other opportunities. Just like any relationship, the networking process should be mutually beneficial. If someone offers you some information that has been helpful, try to return the favor if they ask for assistance in the future. HOW DO YOU NETWORK? Whether you realize it or not, you have most likely networked before. You are currently networking with peers, professors, JGSB staff and administration—and if you attend events, you most likely are already networking with employers as well. Giving or getting a recommendation for a doctor or a good restaurant is an example of a simple form of networking. You can strengthen this skill, however, to translate it to a more professional venue. NETWORKING TIPS • Go out of your way, or comfort zone, to meet people and ask for introductions • Take a genuine interest in the people around you and listen actively • Make the effort to keep in touch with old and new friends. A simple e-­‐mail every few months can do the trick (or message via facebook/Linkedin) • Think about what you are saying and to whom you are saying it, especially in social situations with people you may not know very well, to avoid offending or embarrassing them or yourself • Tell people around you what you are interested in and what you want to do, instead of limiting conversations to “small talk.” This is the best way to find common ground • Offer to return the favor if person communicates any information, and be sure to thank them • For those who may consider yourself to be shy, take small steps and don’t get discouraged. You cannot become a networking expert overnight. Instead, stay positive and keep practicing • Take a friend if you are anxious about going to a networking event alone, and let them know that you are trying to practice this skill. They may be able to help ease you into conversations with others, if they notice you are not engaged in discussion • Do not feel as if you are being a pest or bothering anyone. Most people are happy to talk about themselves and what they do (even if you are not ready to talk about yourself) • A good networker should be self-­‐aware and conscious of the response of others. You will eventually come into contact with someone who is not interested in networking or too busy at the moment to do so. Look for cues, stay positive, and politely excuse yourself • There is a fine line between persistent and aggressive. Find a balance, and if you are unsure about this or anything else concerning networking, contact a CMC career advisor N ETWORKING L ETTERS Networking letters are meant to help you build and establish contacts. They are not designed to find a job for you (although that can sometimes occur—especially if you already know an opportunity exists). Usually, networking letters are used to gain more information about your area of interest, often leading to an informational interview. They can also help you gain advice on industry and professional introductions. In your letter, be sure to establish connection, state your purpose, request a meeting and a time frame (ie: Can I have 15 minutes to discuss your role at E & Y?). SAMPLE NETWORKING EMAIL MESSAGES Short versions for outreach Dear Ms. Saenz, I will be graduating from the Jones School in May 2013. I was given your name from a CMC career advisor at the Jones School, as I am interested in talking to you about the oil field services industry and potential opportunities within (or) your role at the organization. My background is in __________. Previously, I worked for ____________ and I also have experience in your industry as I worked on a graduate project in the areas of _______________. I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you either by phone or in a brief meeting. Look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Dear Mr. Smith, I am a first year Rice MBA student and obtained your contact information from the Career Management Center at Rice University. I am currently interested in __________ and doing a concentration in ________________. Prior to Rice I worked ___________ doing __________. I have a strong skill set in and would like to further talk about summer internship opportunities (if you know they exist) in this field. I am very interested in a career in finance and would like to know if you have time to talk over the phone or in person. Please let me know if that is possible and a time that best suits your schedule. I look forward to meeting you, and I will follow up with you on September 15th for a convenient time. Thank you for your time and consideration. Kind regards, FOLLOW-­‐UP to a response from the initial email you sent Dear Ms. Saenz, Thank you for responding to my email request. I appreciate you taking a few minutes of your time to offer advice on your industry and share your experience. I’ve enclosed my resume for your review to assist in our conversation. Kind regards, FOLLOW-­‐UP to “No Response” from the initial email you sent Dear Ms. Saenz, I emailed you a few weeks ago regarding an informational interview request and I am following up to determine if you had a moment to speak with me. If preferable, would a later date be more convenient with your schedule? Or, if there is someone more appropriate that you feel I should contact instead, I am happy to do so. Please advise me. (OR) Your guidance is appreciated. Best regards, Longer, more formal versions for outreach For Specific Industry/Function: 6100 Main St. Houston, TX 77005 [email protected] (713) 123-­‐4567 Date Contact Name Title Organization Address Dear Mr. James: (It should always be directed to a person. If you do not have the contact’s name—conduct research to find their name) 1st paragraph: Briefly introduce yourself & establish your connection/why you’re writing. This is where you mention mutual acquaintances, interest in the company or a specific position posted or whatever else prompted you to write. (Keep it to about three sentences) 1st PARAGRAPH EXAMPLE: At a recent alumni event, I had the pleasure of talking to Mr. Jeff Phillips (Managing Director, Product Development) from your Dallas office. During our conversation, he mentioned that several Product Managers at Colossal Microsystems have backgrounds similar to mine and he strongly encouraged me to contact you regarding full-­‐time opportunities in your division. I am completing my MBA in Marketing at Rice University, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and will graduate in May 2013. 2nd paragraph: Find subtle way to introduce an attached resume (if you are attaching one). Resume can also be indicated at the end of the letter/email. Then highlight, preferably in bulleted form, no more than five accomplishments, or key skills that would be of most interest to this person or company 2nd PARAGRAPH EXAMPLE: My resume is provided as a reference for my background. However, I have highlighted my relevant qualifications and professional experience, which include: • FMC Action Learning Project (ALP). Developed a growth and retention strategy for FMC sub-­‐sea division ($2 Billion) • Summer internship with Mercer Consulting as a client manager where I conducted strategic market analysis and identified market opportunities. • Fours years with a privately held consumer products company as a North America Product Development and Marketing Manager 3rd paragraph: This is your call for action or next steps. Tell them you’ll be in town or calling and when. Ask them to call you. Let them know what you’re going to ask/talk about when you call. 3rd PARAGRAPH EXAMPLE: I will be in Dallas during the week of March 5th and hope your schedule will allow us the opportunity to meet briefly to discuss Colossal Microsystems career structure, future opportunities, and my qualifications. You can reach me at (713) 123-­‐4567. Likewise, I will be in touch next week to see if we can arrange a brief meeting or a quick call together. Close: Thank them, reiterate your interest, and refer them to your resume (if you have not done so already). Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to talking with you soon. Best regards, For Entering a New Industry/Changing Functional Career Area: Dear Mr. Ryans, My name is ___________ and I am a first-­‐year MBA student at Rice University. I obtained your contact information from Nicole Van Den Heuvel who met you last November at the Career Management Center Mock Interview Day. I am strongly interested in a career in real estate, and I have been active in both the Real Estate Club at school (I was recently elected Vice-­‐President) as well as the Houston chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). I have attended presentations throughout the year to improve both my knowledge of the field and skill set, as well as network with professionals in the industry. In addition, I am currently working with the Dinerstein Companies, a coast-­‐to-­‐coast full-­‐service real estate and development company, for my Action Learning Project. Prior to Rice, I obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. I then worked as a software engineer for two years creating governmental applications for a company called OptiFlex Inc. Would you have a few moments where we could talk over the phone or in person? Please let me know is this is possible and a date/time which suits your schedule. I really appreciate your time and I will follow up with you next Monday, February 12th to inquire about a convenient time. I have attached my resume just for further background. Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Sincerely, F OLLOW -­‐ UP E MAIL /M AINTAIN N ETWORKING C ONTACTS If you attended a career fair or company event, send an email message to the employers with whom you met. The email should be sent within a week from the date of the event. The sooner, the better—it is easier for employers to “remember a name, with a face” if they receive your email within a day or two of the event. In this type of email, you are not generally looking for a response from the person you contact—although, if you receive one—that’s great! A “Thank you” or “Enjoyed meeting you” email message is appropriate. Be sure to include a sentence specifically talking about something you spoke to the employer/contact about at the event. Here are a few examples: Dear Mr. Nelson, I enjoyed meeting you at the FMC company information session on October 19th at Rice University. Thank you for sharing information on FMC Technologies and communicating your company’s recruiting needs. Best regards, Dear Ms. Jones, th
Thank you for speaking with me at The Rice University Career Rodeo on March 19 . I hope I was able to convey my experience in (whatever industry or background area you discussed with them) _. I look forward to speaking with you in the future about opportunities at ABC Company. Best regards, Dear Mr. Wang, th
It was great meeting you at The Rice University Career Rodeo on March 19 . Thank you for visiting with me about ABC Company and conveying your goals. I think my skills are well suited to your organization and I hope to remain in touch with you to discuss future opportunities if they arise. Kind regards, ________________________________________________________________________________ F OLLOW -­‐ UP E MAIL C ORRESPONDENCE ( A S R E L A T E D T O IN T E R V IE W IN G , D E C L IN IN G O F F E R S , C O M M U N IC A T IN G C O N F L IC T S ) You may decide to send a follow-­‐up email message a few weeks after an interaction with alumni or an employer (of course, after a Thank You message has been sent). Reasons for this might be to: •
Reiterate interest in a position (while still interviewing) Request more time to make a decision if you were made an offer for employment Turn down an offer made after an interview •
Inquire on the status of a position for which you interviewed—but have not received a response Request feedback from interviewer on what you can do to improve (because you did not receive •
the offer) Communicate scheduling conflicts (with other interviews or office visits that occur during the same time) SAMPLE NETWORKING EMAIL MESSAGES for reasons above Short versions for outreach Reiterate interest in a position (while still interviewing) Dear Mr. Jain, I enjoyed meeting with you to discuss the _(job/position title)_ position. _(ABC company)_ is definitely among my top choices for beginning my career. I am impressed by the commitment to your employees and your _(mention something from interview—such as a specific job function, a rotational or leadership program)__. While I am still in the interviewing process, I look forward to continued communication and hope to hear from you in the near future. Sincerely, Request more time to make a decision if you were made an offer for employment Dear Ms. Sims, Thank you again for interviewing me for the _(job/position title) position. (ABC company) is certainly among my top choices for my summer internship. However, as I am still interviewing for positions I had previously applied for, and I would like to extend other companies the courtesy of following through on my commitment to interview. Thus, I am requesting an extension on making my final decision with you to occur (3 days, 1 week, 2weeks, etc-­‐-­‐-­‐offer a time-­‐frame) from today, if this is agreeable to you. Thank you again for your consideration of my candidacy and this request for an extension on my decision. Best regards, Turn down an offer made after an interview Dear Ms. Evans, Thank you for the opportunity and offer sent last week for the (job/position title)_ position. I enjoyed meeting with you and your team and although I am interested in product marketing, I have accepted another offer that aligns more closely with my career goals. I truly admire _(ABC Company)_ and wish you the best of luck in finding the right candidate. Regards, Inquire on the status of a position for which you interviewed—but have not received a response Dear Ms. Stringer, Thank you again for interviewing me on _(Provide time-­‐frame, ie: June 2nd, 2 weeks ago, etc.) _ for the __(job/position title)__ position. I am following up on the status, as I have not yet heard back from you on whether a decision has been reached. I am excited about the possibility of working with your team and feel that I have a great deal to contribute in terms of _(give a few specific functions you discussed in the interview__. If possible, could you provide me with time-­‐frame of when a decision might be reached? Look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Request feedback from interviewer on what you can do to improve (because you did not receive the offer) Dear Mr. Saenz, Thank you again for consideration of __(job/position title)_ position. In order to better develop my interviewing skills, I have been advised by the JGSB CMC to request your assistance with direction for areas of improvement. I was hoping you could provide me with feedback on how I might position myself professionally to become a better candidate for similar positions within our industry—or how I might improve in an interview. I am committed to my career choice and welcome constructive feedback so that I may improve and ultimately succeed in my desired field. Your thoughts would be graciously accepted and most appreciated, as I plan to continue recruiting over the next few months. Sincerely, Communicate scheduling conflicts (with other interviews or office visits that occur during the same time) Dear Mr. Ryans, I would like to once again express my sincere interest in the _(job/position title)__ position and thank you for consideration. Currently, I have an interview scheduled at the same time as your proposed interview date and time. Would it be possible to reschedule for another time that day or later in that week, so that I may fulfill my prior obligations? I am eager to meet with you regarding this opportunity and hope we can determine a time agreeable with your schedule. I am available _(provide dates/times available for that week—or early the next week)_. Please advise which one of these options might work for you—and if not, I am happy to speak over the phone or meet at your office. Sincerely, Responding to re-­‐scheduling interview question—if answer is YES –the time works: Dear Ms. Wong, This is great news. I look forward to meeting you on _(confirm date/time)_ to interview for the _(job/position)__. Thank you for accommodating my request. Warm regards, Responding to re-­‐scheduling interview question—if answer is NO –the time does not work: Dear Ms. Wong, I completely understand your recruiting time restraints as this is peak recruiting season. Would you consider conducting the interview via phone (or skype) 30 minutes-­‐1 hour prior to (or after) my previously scheduled interview? I am also available to meet you at your office if it is more convenient, either this week-­‐-­‐or next week. I would welcome to opportunity to speak with you in person, but due to scheduling conflicts—I am extremely flexible in our initial discussion as it pertains to your availability. I look forward to your consideration and hopefully meeting you face-­‐to face. Best regards, T HANK Y OU N OTES A well-­‐composed thank you note is an essential skill that reaches beyond the bounds of business. The use of a thoughtfully constructed note can have great impact on an employer or a contact. Thank you notes can establish good will, express appreciation, and distinguish you from other candidates. You may use the email/letter/stationary card to reinforce points made during the interview, to correct any missteps, or to assert briefly any points you failed to make. You should always thank someone who has taken the time to help you as soon as possible. You may prefer to send a thank you email, which is a quick and easy way to show gratitude immediately and at times is more appropriate for small favors. However, it is always a good idea to send a hand-­‐written note as well, especially if someone made great efforts on your behalf for an informational interview or after a job interview. WHEN TO SEND A THANK YOU NOTE/EMAIL • After a job interview • After an informational interview/networking appointment • After a networking contact has taken the time to critique your resume, do a mock interview, pass along information about a job opening, or other proactive help • Anytime someone has gone out of their way to assist you THANK YOU NOTE TIPS • Use good stationery in a simple design, nothing too flashy or loud • A thank you note is ineffective if the person cannot read it, so write neatly (and then personally sign it) • Take the time to personalize the message in the note. Refer to a common interest you discussed or reaffirm a point you made in the interview. You do not want the note to read like a script • Be sure you spell the name of the person correctly and address the correct person in the note! (This can be an issue if you have been seen by more than one person or company in a short period of time. Try to collect business cards and write notes on the back of each soon after to avoid confusion) • Write each thank-­‐you letter separately, even if you follow a similar form for each letter • The letter should specifically highlight what was discussed in your interview and, when appropriate, reiterate your interest and qualifications. You may also offer pertinent, supplemental information that was not discussed • Use the opportunity to drive home a key point from your interview or to follow up on a question or topic from the interview. (“I’ve enclosed an article that relates very much to our discussion of X,” or to reemphasize, “I am extremely interested in this position.”) • You could also review something interesting you learned about the position or company, and link it to your qualifications and ability to meet the employer's needs • Remember to send a note to the assistant or others who arranged your visit or gave you the initial job lead – even if those people were not on your interview schedule • Proofread your letter or note twice! It should be error free • Ask for clarification regarding anything in the interview that was not clear, or reiterate • Your understanding of their next steps. (I understand that you will be interviewing on the West Coast before you make your decision. Is this correct?) • Close with a sincere expression of appreciation and enthusiasm for future work together (Make them believe you’re excited about the opportunity!) SAMPLE THANK YOU NOTES After an interview: Dear Mr. James, Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the Senior Analyst position. After speaking with you, I am convinced that I am the right candidate, with the appropriate experience and future vision, to move your company forward. In particular, you expressed the importance of fit among team members. After meeting with the group last week, I felt a strong rapport was built and that common goals were held by all. With this in mind, I know that I can apply these same skills as we move together to reach the three company goals we discussed during the interview. Again, I appreciate the time you took to see me. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, In response to a networking opportunity: Dear Ramin, Thank you for your time yesterday at the partio. I enjoyed talking to you about Frito Lay’s marketing process and your job. Your advice on how to start thinking about my career path is much appreciated. My finance background is strong, but, I also wish to explore other areas in marketing. I was impressed with the team of presenters and the fact that Frito Lay seems to promote an entrepreneurial spirit. The atmosphere was exciting and engaging and I'm excited at the prospect of working in such a dynamic environment. Thank you again for your time, and I look forward to pursuing the next step with Frito Lay. Sincerely, Marion Gold
After an informational interview: Dear Ms. Preston, Thank you for speaking with me the other day. I sincerely appreciated the insight you provided on consulting work. Your advice and guidance allowed me to make my final decision to pursue consulting exclusively. After speaking with you, I am confident that I am on the right track and will be looking for an appropriate internship soon. Additionally, am grateful to you for providing me with the contact information for your colleague at Wainwright Inc. I will be contacting him sometime this week about the opening you mentioned. Again, I truly appreciate the time you afforded me. Thank you for being so open. Kind regards, George Winn
Complete job applications as requested •
Use your resume wording wherever possible; do not reinvent language that is already precise •
Avoid filling in a salary history, which could constrain you in negotiating, withhold you from consideration (too high or low – wrong “fit”) and may be irrelevant for comparison purposes (You may write in “open” or “negotiable.”) •
Be mindful of submitting “TEXT” resume online (This is a different format and the Career Management Center can provide you a template if needed) •
Consider adding “keyword lists” to your resume (where appropriate). This is helpful for online searching when the employers use a program to find the number of keyword matches (or “hits”) on a resume R EFERENCES PROVIDING REFERENCES •
Be ready with names and contact information of at least three references (whom you have contacted in advance) •
References should be provided on resume paper with your name and address printed at the top, typically matching your resume format •
Mention the nature of your relationship (– e.g., former supervisor, client, former direct report, colleague, or teacher) •
Provide as much contact information as the person acting as your reference will allow (ie: phone number and email address) •
Only submit a Reference page when requested to do so by the employer