One of the first things your parents taught you as a toddler was to say “please” and “thank you.” For some reason, as adults some tend to forget the power of “Thank You” in cementing good social and professional relations, let alone making a favorable impression with potential employers.
Once you’ve won that coveted first or second interview, don’t forget that it is critical to thank EVERYONE you interviewed with, and also the recruiter who may have helped you to make that connection.
WHEN TO SEND THE THANK-YOU LETTER
You’ll want to be very prompt in sending out your thank-you’s, which means you need to obtain contact information for all interviewers. Asking for a business card will easily accomplish this.
By “prompt” is meant within 24 hours.
The best strategy is to send a quick email within an hour or so of the interview’s conclusion, and then a postal letter by the next day.
NO FORM LETTERS, PLEASE!
You’ll want to make each thank-you letter as personal as possible…
- Cite something that individual mentioned that impressed you.
- Supply a little more information on a question he or she asked you.
- Touch on something you found out that you have in common, such as enjoying golf, hiking, etc.
ADDITIONAL USES FOR THE THANK-YOU LETTER
The thank-you letter also presents some post-interview opportunities. For instance, you can:
- Provide an amplified response to something discussed in the interview.
- Add your considered observations on where you think you could make a contribution.
- Ask a question that shows your insight into the company’s situation.
- Provide a better answer to a question that had you flummoxed.
However, take care not to wax eloquent for pages… Short and sweet is best, certainly one page or less.
IN WHAT FORM SHOULD I SEND THE THANK YOU LETTER?
If you are mailing your interview thank-you letter, it may be either word-processed or handwritten (only if you have attractive, highly legible handwriting).
SUCH AN EASY WAY TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
The percentage of candidates who take the time to send thank-you emails or postal letters is abysmally low (some have cited under 4%), so this strategy is virtually guaranteed to make a major impression.
For additional insights into letter writing, see: