Sending a networking thank you email can make all the difference when it comes to building a new relationship.
Referrals are one of the best ways to get a job. How do you get referrals? By having strong professional connections. Networking consistently will help you build mutually beneficial relationships with a large and diverse group of people.
Here, we’ll explain how to write a follow-up email after you meet a new connection to express your gratitude for the interaction and cement the relationship.
What is a networking thank you email?
A networking thank you email is sent after you meet someone new in a professional context. This might be a formal networking event, like a chamber of commerce lunch-and-learn, or an informal meeting, like making a chance connection while waiting in line for coffee.
The email serves as a follow-up to your interaction and opens the door to future communications that may benefit one or both of you in your careers.
Why it’s important to express your gratitude
No matter what line of work you’re in, it’s in your best interest to maintain professional relationships with peers in your field. The larger your network, the more opportunities you’ll be exposed to. Sending a thank you email after you meet a new contact signals that you appreciate the relationship and want to build continued rapport.
It’s also the proper thing to do. Some people, particularly those with a lot more experience than you, may expect a thank you after they spend time talking with you, and you want to maintain a positive reputation. Abiding by professional norms like sending follow-up messages is especially important in fields like government and law.
When should you send a thank you?
When you talked with someone helpful
You don’t have to send a thank you to every single person you meet at a networking event, but it’s a good practice for anyone you spoke to for longer than a few minutes. It’s also a nice gesture to anyone who shared a particularly useful piece of advice or offered you help.
When you want to build a relationship
Send a networking thank you email when you meet someone you want to stay in touch with. Maybe you have shared interests or are on a similar career trajectory; you never know when a connection will come in handy.
Within 24 hours
Be prompt. You want to send your email while you’re still fresh in a contact’s mind, so do it the evening or morning after an event.
What to include in a networking thank you email
A short introduction
Remind the recipient who you are and where you met.
Express your gratitude and include specific details on how they helped you or why you’re glad to have met them.
Pertinent follow-up information
If you discussed providing a copy of your resume, attach it to the email. If they offered to make an introduction for you, reiterate that you’d be happy for the connection.
A professional sign-off
Wrap up the email with a warm closing and your contact details.
What you should omit
- An additional ask. This is not the time to ask for a favor or request more of their time. Work to build a relationship first before leveraging the connection for your own gain.
Example networking thank you email
Writing a warm and professional follow-up email after you make a new connection will help you build a strong network that can serve you for the length of your career.