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I just interviewed with company A today, and I found out later in the day at my current job (company B) that I'm going to be attending a conference that is highly relevant to my interview and potential employment with company A. How can I mention this gracefully in a follow-up/thank-you letter to company A?

Unfortunately the conference is put on by my current company (company B), so I know none of the employees at company A will be attending. I thought about stating "if possible could I follow-up with at said conference, which I'll be attending in August?" but since they won't be attending, this won't work.

My field is social work, if it's relevant. My current company already knows I'm leaving (it's a temporary position), so I'm not worried about them finding out I'm following up. How can I fit this into a follow-up/thank-you note to an interview? Should I play dumb and ask them if they'll be sending any employees to this conference?

When writing a follow-up letter to an interview, how do I mention to a potential employer that I'll be attending a relevant conference?

UPDATE:

I'll add a bit more to clear up some of the comments.

A) I know company A won't be attending because the conference is put on by company B, and since I work for company B, I can see the complete list of attendees. Company A isn't included.

B) My exact goal is to be hired by company A. The conference consists of several professional development workshops, as well as presentations (one of which I'm giving) that are directly applicable to the work I would be doing with company A.

C) I don't want to be sneaky in any way; I found out that I would be attending and presenting at this conference when I got to my office a few hours after finishing my interview with company A. Had I found out sooner, I would have mentioned it in the interview.

D) I thought about simply writing a follow-up/thank-you letter like this: "--boilerplate follow-up/thank-you--. Also, I found out a few hours after we spoke on Tuesday morning that I would be attending --specific conference name-- and presenting --name of my case study--. I think the professional development workshops will prove an asset when working for you. " etc.

  • @jmort253 it's REALLY clear to me that the OP wants to make sure the potential employer knows she's attending/presenting or whatever, because it points out that she goes out and does stuff to better her skills rather than sitting at home. – Amy Blankenship May 29 '13 at 1:42
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    @AmyBlankenship - I guess I don't understand why she has to be sneaky about it. It seems like a lot of trouble to me to follow up with a company at a conference. Maybe they're giving a presentation and aren't focusing on recruiting. Maybe they're going for some other reason. Maybe they won't even recognize her when she approaches them. But while people do network at conferences, knowing the exact goal would, in my opinion, would help us understand Susan's motivations.... I do suspect you're probably right though. :) – jmort253 May 29 '13 at 1:45
  • When I think of a conference, I picture Google I/O with people rushing in a sea of people to get from point A to point B and being careful they don't step on the little Android robots. Again, I don't think there's anything wrong with this post. It's a good question; I just want to understand more of the context. – jmort253 May 29 '13 at 1:46
  • I don't think she wants to be sneaky. She wants to be graceful. Men seldom worry about having a good excuse to toot their own horn, but even some of them want to have a legitimate reason before they say anything that can remotely be considered bragging. – Amy Blankenship May 29 '13 at 1:49
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    @jmort253 I wasn't clear at first (and it seems like there are some comments missing? I don't see your first comment). I won't have the opportunity to network with company A at the conference since they won't be there. I just want company A to know that I'm attending a conference/set of workshops that are completely relevant to the work I would be doing for them. – Susan May 29 '13 at 2:27
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In the followup email or letter, I would simply say that after the inteview I was notified that I had been selected to present at ABC conference on . My topic is DEF. Then since you believe the topic is relevant to the postion you interviewed for, you might go on to describe a bit about how your knowledge of the topic and the public exposure of being a presenter would be good for the new company. That the conference is being put on by your current employer is irrelevant. That they aren;t currently attending is irrelevant (other than it might make it harder for you to negotiate them paying for it.) What you want them to know is that you are being asked to present. This is a professional plus that the other candidates may not have.

If you are offered the job, during the negotiation, you should tell them again about this conference and negotiate them paying for you to go or at least giving you the time to attend. Don't ask for this in your follow-up letter.

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    My current company is paying for me to attend, since I'll be attending while I'm still working for the company. If company A hires me, I'll start work in four months; the conference is taking place in 3 months, so I'll still be employed with company B (the ones putting on the conference). – Susan May 29 '13 at 15:15
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    I sent them a brief follow-up based on the discussion here, and they emailed me an offer about an hour later. Maybe the follow-up/thank-you helped; maybe it didn't. – Susan May 29 '13 at 19:45
  • @Susan Good for you! – HLGEM May 29 '13 at 20:12

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