Below is LegalJob’s response to another question about best practices for follow-up.
Q: I had an informational type interview today with a partner at ______ [an AmLaw 100 firm]. I think it went as well as to be expected; he said they are not currently looking for an associate but that he was impressed with my credentials and plans to keep my resume on file. I assumed that was a throw away line until he asked me to send him a reference list so he has it if and when something comes up. Is there anything to do other than sending a short thank you e-mail with a list of a couple of my references?
Answer: Yes, you have been thrown a softball. Now it is time to hit it out of the park. Consider doing the following three things:
- Take the extra time to type a sincere thank you letter addressing specifics about your conversation (and in particular items that he said and your thoughts about it) and send in tomorrow’s mail at latest.
- Send him the reference list but do not stop there. Ask one of your references to provide you a recommendation letter that is tailored toward this job, addressed to the person who interviewed you, and explaining why you are a match for the firm. You don’t want to push your contact but the letter should come within two weeks, if possible. He gave you an opening. Run with it.
- Think of another reason to keep in contact with this person for your round two follow-up so you can stay on his radar screen. Some examples of excuses for additional contact: a) You win moot court; b) you finish a writing sample; c) something significant (good) happens at your job; d) you get some more As to report; e) you find an article that is relevant to the interviewers practice; and f) something significant happens to a sports team he follows, etc. Contact him again with the news in about three weeks or a month (sooner or later depending on whether you have something reasonable to say).