Do you send out a follow-up letter thanking those who interviewed you?
If you are like most job candidates, you're not sure if you should send out a letter. You might be wondering if thank you notes have become an ancient and pointless practice. Alternatively, even if you do decide to write one, you might not be sure where to start when it comes to crafting a professional follow-up.
In this article you'll find:
- Why you should write a thank you letter.
- 5 steps to writing the perfect follow-up letter.
- Examples of thank you letters.
Why Send a Thank-You Letter After an Interview
Many people seem to overlook follow-up letters or see them as antiquated and outdated. The hiring process is already extremely time-consuming, and it can be hard to see the value in taking additional time to follow-up. However, it is a crucial detail not to be overlooked. While you probably won't land a job by merely writing a thank you letter, you could be penalized for not sending one.
For some hiring managers, a thank you letter is a barrier of entry. They will not even consider a candidate who hasn't taken the extra effort to thank them for their time. Jess Liebman, executive managing editor of Insider Inc. said, "I came up with a simple rule: We shouldn't move a candidate to the next stage in the interview process unless they send a thank you email." Many hiring professionals follow similar rules. Liebman even advises others to do the same, stating, "You should never make an offer to someone who neglected to send one."
Additionally, writing a thank you letter can make you stand out among other candidates and help you land the job. Consider a scenario where the interviewer is having a hard time deciding between two candidates. If you send a follow-up note while the other candidate doesn't, or, if you send a well thought out, personalized letter while the other candidate sends one that is generic or unprofessional, it could be enough to push you ahead of the other candidate.
According to CNN Business, "Yes, you have to send a thank-you note after your interview." A note signals that the person is eager and wants the job. It shows the interviewer that you are organized, well mannered, and posses fundamental communication skills. "Thank you notes not only show gratitude, but also keep you top of mind and provide another opportunity to re-emphasize your skills and interest."
5 Steps to Write a Perfect Thank-You Letter
You now know that that sending a letter after the job interview is a must, but what should that letter entail??
Applicants often struggle with the difficulty of writing a follow-up thank you letter that gives the correct impression. Creating a note that is personalized, genuine, and professional can be daunting since you want your email or letter after the interview to stand out from the crowd. It should highlight your interest in the position and be a final reminder as to why you’d be perfect for the job. Here are our 5 tips for writing the perfect follow-up thank you letter.
- Create a unique and personalized thank you letter for each interviewer. It can be tempting to copy and paste from a generic thank you email template every time you are sending out post-interview letters. Personalization can go a long way in helping you secure the job, especially if you are sending multiple emails to people within the same company. Add specific details about the conversation and interaction, and don't make the mistake of sending out the same letter to everyone who interviewed you.
- Open the letter with a personal greeting and express your appreciation. The letter should be addressed to the interviewer directly, by their name. Also, since this is a thank you letter, the first sentence should include that sentiment. Be sincere and authentic when expressing gratitude and appreciation. Include a genuine note thanking the hiring manager for their time and that you appreciated the chance to talk and learn more about their company.
- Reflect on the interview and restate your interest in the job. Be sure to mention a few key details from the conversation. References will help the interviewer recall and reflect on the discussion you had. Including a reinstatement of your interest will go a long way in showing your enthusiasm and commitment as a candidate.
- Close the letter professionally. The entire message needs to be professional along with the sign-off. Thank the interviewer again, and let them know that you're looking forward to speaking again. Highlight the agreed-upon date of when a decision is to be made and close with a professional signature.
- Finally, not to be overlooked, double-check to make sure you have correct spelling and grammar. You should always proofread any professional email you send out, and especially this one. If need be, you can use proofreading services like Grammarly to help avoid any errors.
Sample Thank-You Letter
As mentioned above, you should never send the same generic email out for all of your follow-ups, but using these samples can help highlight what needs to be included.
Example of a Simple Thank You Letter:
Hello, [Mr./Ms. Last Name],
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the position of the [Position Name] yesterday. It was a pleasure to learn more about your business approach and specifically [add a specific scenario].
Our conversation made me even more excited to join [Company Name]. What interested me, in particular, was [something specific you discussed during the interview].
I’m confident that my experience can translate into similar success as your new [the name of the position you’re applying for].
If you need any additional information from me at this point, or have any questions about my experience or accomplishments, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing back from you on [the specific date established during the interview]
Thanks again for your time!
Example of a Thank You Letter After a Second Interview:
Dear, [Mr./Ms. Last Name],
It was a pleasure to come and chat for the second time; thank you for the opportunity! Now I’m even more certain that I will be able to help deliver great results working as [the name of the position] with [Company Name].
The information you shared about your future projects [include specifics] convinced me that this job is a perfect fit for my professional and personal interest and one where I could make a valuable contribution.
Thank you again for your time. I look forward to hearing from you on [the established date] as discussed.
The Bottom Line
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how to write a follow-up thank you letter, you’re probably asking yourself, “When is the right time to follow-up?” The sooner, the better! It’s best to send a letter while you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Don’t hesitate to contact the interviewer(s) right away. It is important to always send your follow-up email within 24 hours of the interview.
Remember: Personalize every after interview email you send. Be sure to reference specific conversations that you had and always compose a separate thank you letter to every person you interviewed with.
Be genuine with your gratitude and continued interest in the job. You want to ensure that your letter reads as a sincere gesture, and not merely a chore that must be done after an interview.
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