It might seem silly to some, but Thank You letters are very important. There are some hiring managers who will eliminate a candidate if they don’t send a thank you letter. The general rule of thumb is always send a thank you letter. It is, of course, acceptable to send Thank You emails (not sure that anyone uses snail mail these days). Not sending a thank you letter may imply that you are not interested in the opportunity.
But let’s be honest, the real benefit of sending a Thank Your letter is twofold. First, it obviously allows you to thank the interviewer for spending the time to meet with you. But the real benefit, to both you and the interviewer, is to show your interest in the job, show that you listened to specifics raised during the interview and, most importantly, to reiterate why you are a perfect match fit for the job and the company.
While you can use a Thank You note template and repeat some portion of the note, you will need to personalize each note to the person, topics discussed and specifics about the job requirements and your qualifications. So, if you interviewed with 5 people during the interview process, you should send 5 personalized thank you notes.
Some key points to consider when writing your Thank You note:
- Take notes during the interview. Remembering key facts is an important part of your thank you know.
- Personalize your note to the interviewer. Repeat some of what you heard and discussed (as mentioned above).
- Use this opportunity to point out the key skills and experience that make you a great candidate.
- Write something about “looking forward to sharing ideas” about how you can add value.
- Thank the interviewer for their time.
- Reiterate your interest in the role and the company.
- Clear up any unanswered questions (on your part) or other misunderstandings.
- If you think there was some additional information that you should have said at the interview, now is your time to bring it up.
- If you truly are not interested in the opportunity, now is the time to let them know.
- Ensure there are no typos!
What not to include in your Thank You note:
- Don’t mention salary or benefits.
- Don’t apologize about any part of the interview if you think you made mistakes.
- Your letter should not read as if it is a form letter (each letter should be different).
- Don’t write a very long letter.
- Don’t get the names of your interviewer wrong.
- Don’t wait to send your thank you note (send it no later than the day after the interview).
- Don’t be too informal.
Some resources to get you started:
- About.com – Thank You Letters – About.com has very extensive coverage of Thank You letters. The site provides samples, advice and instructions on writing your own Thank You letter from scratch.
- Quintcareers.com – In addition to a range of samples, this site provides a number of interesting articles which are subject specific
- Susanireland.com – This site also has samples and tips to help you with your Thank You letters.
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Good luck in your search,