You’ve gone on the big interview and you are ready for the next step, but have you sent your thank you letter? Some people think that thank you letters (or emails these days) are a thing of the past, but that is not the case. Your thank you letter is a key part of the job search process, so don’t ignore it. While you may have said everything you wanted to during the interview, your thank you letter is your chance to communicate:
- That you heard everything the interviewer(s) said;
- That you are the right person for the job;
- That you are interested in the company and the position.
While your thank you letter should not be too long, you should include the items listed below. Also, if you interviewed with more than one person, make sure that your thank you letters are personalized to the interviewer (and are not form letters).
1. Why Your Experience is a Perfect Match for the Job:
This is your opportunity to ensure that the hiring manager knows that you have the right experience for the job. Mention specific issues raised during the interview and explain (with examples) how you can help to address their needs. You want to express two items here: that you heard and understand the challenges of the job and that you have the experience to help them solve their issues/problems.
2. What Have You Achieved in Your Current (and past) Roles?
Hiring managers not only want to hear that you understand their problems, they want specific examples of what you’ve achieved. Provide concrete examples of success you’ve had in previous roles. These accomplishments should be things that were above and beyond expectations. Be as specific as you can, such as “increased sales 10%” or “successfully launched a new product”. Whatever your achievements, now is not the time to be shy.
3. Clarify Open Items or Items Not Discussed:
Interviews don’t always go as planned and sometimes you don’t get the opportunity to discuss topics you feel are pertinent to the roll. Your thank you letter is the time to provide additional information or perhaps to clarify part of the discussion that was not entirely clear. If there was some confusion about your experience or resume, now is the time to set things straight.
4. A Thank You Letter is Not a Novel:
You want to ensure your thank you letter includes key points, but it should not be a very long letter. There is a delicate balance between including the right information and not making it too long. One page is more than enough. Assuming you get additional interviews, you can provide additional information then. Make sure your letter is organized in a way that flows naturally. Don’t ramble on and don’t write a bunch of bullet points.
5. Personalize and Follow-up:
You should write a thank you letter for each person that interviewed you. Each letter should be personalized so that the individual knows it was written specifically for them. Now is also the time to indicate that you will follow-up in a week or two. This shows the interviewer(s) that you are interested in the position and that you can take initiative.
Thank you letters should have structure (take a look at some formats on the Internet) and should be timely. Sending your thank you letter via email is fine and you should not wait more than a day or so to send it. You want to leverage your letter so that you stand out from the crowd and a timely letter can help you do just that.
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Good luck in your search,