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This is the second article on Thank You letters (the first was “Have you sent your Thank You letter?”). Thank You letters (also know as Follow-up Letters) should be a part of your job search marketing toolkit (see Job Search Marketing Toolkit) and you should have some basic templates ready to go before the interview. And, contrary to what you may have heard, Thank You Letters are very much needed (and sometimes expected). Read on.
There are at least four things that should conveyed in a Thank You letter.
- The first is, of course, to thank the individual for taking out time from their busy day to meet with you.
- You should be able to repeat key parts of your conversation in your letter, like “I enjoyed hearing about . . .” – you get the idea. You should take notes immediately following the interview to ensure you capture key points.
- The Thank You letter is your opportunity to remind the interviewer why you are the perfect match for the job. You should mention key job requirements and how your experience covers off on those requirements.
- Lastly, you should let the interviewer know that you are very interested in the position (assuming you are) and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.
What to Exclude:
- Typos! Make sure you don’t have any, this may kill your chances.
- Don’t wait a week, send it the next day.
- Don’t make a generic letter that you send to everyone you met with. They will share notes and see it is a form letter.
- Don’t be too familiar. This is a business letter and you should keep it professional.
Thankfully (no pun intended), the Internet is jam packed with advice and examples of interview Thank You letters. Let’s review a few sites for content and a few for sample letters.
- Write Winning Thank-You Letters – This article, from Monster.com’s Career Advice section, is very well written and covers all of the key points regarding Thank You letters. One additional point covered in the article is whether you should use email or snail mail. There are related article links on the page as well.
- Thank You Letters – Boston College’s Career Center offers good advice on Thank You letters. In addition to the points covered above, the BC article also discusses timing, length, when/who to send it, and email versus snail mail. There are links to additional resources at the bottom of the page.
- Sample Thank You Letters – A number of interview Thank You letter samples from About.com covering just about every situation – interview, second interview, job offer, networking, etc. followed by a link for “Writing Thank You Letters” and a number of other resources.
- Thank-You Letters and Other Job-Search Correspondence – Boise State University’s Career Center has a very good page which provides both guidelines and samples of Thank You letters.
On the lighter side . . .
- 150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever
- 12 Job Search Blunders You Don’t Want to Make
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Good luck in your search,