By Tracy Achen
Following up each interview with a thank you letter is an essential factor in indicating that you are a serious contender for the job. As soon as you finish your interview, you should write down any relevant observations and questions from the interview before you forget them. Also include the names of the people who interviewed you. This will help you personalize a thank you note to your interviewer and highlight what was discussed during the interview.
A personalized letter gives you the opportunity to make a more lasting impression, especially if there are many people interviewing for the same position. Not only does it show that you recognize proper business etiquette, but it also allows you to recap why you would be the best person for the position.
Following up with a thank you will help keep you fresh on the interviewer's mind, especially if you refer specifically to what you discussed in the interview. If you have interacted with the interviewer through email, it's a good idea to send them a short email within 24 hours thanking them for them interview. You'll also want to make sure you send the email out during business hours and not 2:00 in the morning (you don't want to highlight your erratic hours).
For some ideas on what to include in your email, check out this follow-up email example from The Balance.
Like most of us, hiring personnel are faced with an overwhelming list of emails to be read and attended to. So you should go the extra mile by sending a physical thank you via snail mail as well, especially if you weren’t able to send an email. Sometimes this simple gesture will put you at the top of the hiring list.
When composing your letter, it's best to use quality 8.5 x 11 paper and address it to the person who interviewed you. If you were interviewed by more than one person, be sure to send a unique note to each person individually. And be sure to mail out your letter by the next day so it will be received promptly.
When you're getting ready to compose your letter, you need to make sure you have the correct address to send it to. If you didn't get the interviewer's business card with their contact information, you can Google the company and check out their website for a mailing address.
If you emailed a thank you note earlier, don't just copy and paste it into your word document. You can highlight some of the things you mentioned in your email, but it does need to be unique and formatted differently. Remember, you're trying to stand-out from the other applicants. You can get some ideas on how to write your thank you letter with the following example.
Name of person who interviewed you
Name of the company
City, State, Zip Code
In this paragraph of the thank you letter, share your appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the interviewer to discuss the possibility of working for the company. You should also mention your positive opinion of the business. (For instance: It was a pleasure meeting with you yesterday. I was interested in hearing about the different projects your business is working on and the company's impressive ideas for continuing development and growth.)
In this section, you can present relevant information as to why you would be a great fit for the position, possibly something which wasn't discussed during the interview. (For example: I came away from our meeting with a strong insight of how I might be a part of your team. My knowledge and experience align with your business' increasing need for skilled workers, and I believe I have the aptitude, commitment, and drive you require from prospective employees.)
In the last paragraph of your letter, you want to respectfully let the person who interviewed you see that you are interested in hearing back from them. Point out that you would be happy to discuss the job further, either over the phone or in person. (For example: Keep me in mind as your plans to add staff takes shape. If you think of any other questions, please know that I would be eager to come in for a second interview. I look forward to hearing from you again.) You can contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx. Thank you again for meeting with me yesterday.
Your contact information
This is just a sample of what an interview thank you letter should look like. You will need to customize your own letter so that it addresses each individual interview.
After you compose your letter and before you hit print, be sure to double check for spelling and grammatical errors. Typos will certainly diminish a prospective employer's impression of you. It's also a good idea to put your return address on your envelope. This way if your thank you letter isn't delivered, it will be returned to you.
As always, good luck in your quest to find a fulfilling job. Below are more topics to help you find the job of your dreams...