Follow-Up Letters to Alumni Met at College Networking Events

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Attending college alumni networking events is a smart way to expand your list of professional contacts and, ideally, to discover new career opportunities. However, attending the event itself is only half the battle—what is key is to then follow up as quickly as possible with the participating alumni.

Plan to spend the day after each networking event working on custom letters for each contact you met. In these letters, you should make sure to reference the topics you discussed and express your appreciation for their time. Sending an email message is fine, but, if you have the time, a paper letter sent by mail is a good way to get the reader's attention.

If you're writing to say thank you, send your letter within 24 hours of the meeting, and no more than two days later. If you're following up on an earlier conversation, send your message when you have information to relay or a question to ask.

Alumni Follow-Up Letters

It is essential to remember that these letters are intended primarily to give thanks for advice and conversation. While it is fine to express your hope that you’ll keep in touch and even to mention that you are actively pursuing a career in the alumni’s industry or at their place of employment, this is not the time to directly ask for a referral or a job interview.

Instead, use this letter to start the conversation necessary to ultimately build an ongoing, mutually beneficial professional relationship. Review information on what to include, and examples of a paper letter and an email message sent to follow up after meeting with an alumni contact.

What to Include in Your Letter

When you follow up with alumni you've met at an informational interview or a networking program, it's important to start your letter or email with a reminder of who you are and how you met.

Networking programs can be busy, and it can be hard to keep track of everyone you connect with. It will make it easier for your connect to reply if they know who you are and why you're writing.

When you send a follow-up email or letter, include the following:

  • A reminder of how you met
  • Job or internship search status update
  • The type of help you're seeking
  • Thanks and appreciation for the help
  • Contact information

Be sure to tailor your letter to fit your personal and professional circumstances, and carefully proofread and edit it before you send it. It's important to make the best impression.

Follow-Up Letter to Alumni Met at College Networking Event

Here is an example of a follow-up letter to send via snail mail to a contact you have met at a college alumni networking event.

Lindsay Shia
876 East St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

May 1, 2021

Mr. Daniel Miranda
XYZ Publishing House
456 7th Avenue
New York, New York 10018

Dear Mr. Miranda,
It was a pleasure meeting you at the ABC College Alumni Networking Dinner last week. I truly enjoyed speaking with you about current career tracks in the publishing field.
Your description of a typical workday at the XYZ Publishing House only increased my interest in a publishing career. Our conversation started the wheels spinning in my mind about how I will be able to transfer the writing and editing skills I’ve learned as a journalism major to a “real world” employment setting after my graduation this June.

I am currently beginning my search for summer internships in the publishing field. I believe my communications skills and the experience I gained as a writer and then senior editor for our college newspaper and its associated website would make me an ideal editorial intern.

Please let me know if you hear of any internship opportunities at XYZ Publishing House, or if you have any suggestions regarding people or companies to contact. I can be reached at 555-111-1234 or lindsay.shia@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for your willingness to help students from ABC College.
Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Lindsay Shia

Email Follow-Up Message to Alumni Met at College Networking Event

If you send the letter as an email message, include your name in the subject of the message so your contact knows who the message is coming from. It is not necessary to include the recipient’s contact information in an email, but you should provide all of your own contact information so that he or she has multiple ways to respond to you.

Your message will have a better chance of being opened and read if the recipient is aware of who is writing. Here’s an example:

Subject: Greg Ellesworth - Thank You

Dear Ms. Jones,
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me during our recent Alumni Networking Conference at ABC College.
Your description of the opportunities and challenges you enjoy at XYZ Software has reinforced my intention to place them on my “A list” of companies I’d like to work for after I graduate with my computer science degree this May.

I was particularly interested in learning how you yourself started as an intern with XYZ Software and steadily earned promotion to your current position – it’s exciting to see how the company supports the career growth of its employees. If you hear of any internship opportunities that are opening with XYZ, I’d be more than grateful if you would forward the listing to me.

Thank you so much for your willingness to help students from ABC College.
Sincerely,
Greg Ellesworth
576 S. Mercer Ave.
Seattle, WA 08170
555-111-1234
greg.ellesworth@gmail.com
linkedin.com/in/ellesworth-greg

More Networking Letter Examples

Here are more examples of resume and cover letter examples for college students and grads that you can use as a starting point for your own correspondence: