Being polite doesn’t cost anything and can have unbelievable advantages.
Everyone likes to receive letters, the downside of that is someone has to write them! Make that someone you. Become a serial letter writer, the more you do, the easier you’ll find it.
When to send a follow up letter? Whenever you do something!
After a job application, whether by application form or by way of CV, each of which will have a covering letter, of course, send a follow up letter, a week or so later.
Express, again, your interest in the job. Add a paragraph relating to some information you’ve just found out about the organisation and show how you have that experience, demonstrate with an example, if you can.
After an invitation to interview, send a letter to confirm you will attend and you are looking forward to expanding on the detail you sent in the application.
After an interview, of course, the “thank you” letter.
After meeting with a network contact, the “thank you” letter then, later, the update on what you have done as a result of the conversation. This could be a changed CV, or selecting a training course, or telling how a meeting with a recommended contact went.
Do you send these on paper or electronically?
How much impact would you like your message to have?
If you think that an e-mail will be received, read and retained, then use that system.
But there’s really nothing that compares with opening an envelope, feeling a quality piece of paper and reading a message, no matter how simple.