A thank you letter is a great way to follow up after a job interview? Check out these tips on crafting your own letter.
Did you finish a stressful job interview for a position that you think you’re perfect for? Are you ready to go home and unwind while you wait for a response? Not so fast.
Just because you shook hands and concluded your face-to-face meeting doesn’t mean your interview is over. There is one other crucial thing to do that will help you seal the deal.
They have your resume. You met with the interviewer in person. You told them everything you could about your career path, goals, and why you’re a perfect fit for the job.
So, what’s left? You have to write a thank you note.
Going the extra mile is always encouraged when interviewing, so writing a thank you note after the interview is a great way to make a lasting impression.
If writing letters isn’t a strength of yours, don’t worry. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to write a solid follow-up letter when the job interview is over.
Get it Done (Now!)
Writing thank you notes isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to do, so it’s easy to want to put it off. Short of not sending one at all, putting it off is about the worst thing you can do.
You want to send your follow-up letter when you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind. A note from you goes a long way and will make you memorable.
It’s rare that you’ll be the only person interviewed for a job opening. In some cases, you might be competing against dozens of other candidates for the same position. Don’t diminish your chances of being selected because you were too lazy to write a thank you letter.
Now, we’re not suggesting that by not writing a thank you letter, you are automatically disqualified from the job opening. There’s a good chance other interviewee will write a thank you note, so it’s best to write one, too.
The best practice is to send your thank you letter on the same day as the interview. At the very latest, send it the next day. The point is to give yourself a leg up on the competition, so the sooner you do it, the better chance you have of the interviewer remembering who you are.
It’s common courtesy to send a thank you note, and interviewers take notice of that type of gratitude. You can be sure they’ll think of that when it comes to compare candidates and decide who to hire for the job.
Don’t Use a Template
Whatever you do, don’t use a template. It’s tempting to Google “sample thank you note” and copy what written. If you do, you’ll get hundreds of results. But should you copy an example word for word?
Anyone can find a template, change a few words, and copy and paste it into an email. But you’re not doing yourself any favors by doing that. Instead, craft a letter that’s personalized.
Interviewers receive tons of thank you notes each year, so if you don’t customize it per your conversation, it’s likely they will be able to tell.
Instead, create a personalized note that details specific things you discussed in your interview. You can say, “I was excited to learn that…” or “The _____ project you were telling me about sounds fascinating.”
Recap a few moments from the interview to show that you thought more of your conversation and took the time to write the letter just for them.
If you and the interviewer had something in common, like you went to the same college or grew up in the same hometown, feel free to mention it. Use those common bonds to separate yourself from the competition and stand out in the interviewer’s mind.
Reiterate Why You’re Qualified
Your cover letter and resume already detail your full experience and qualifications. But now that you’ve had the in-person interview, it’s’ time to make one last mention of why you’re perfect for the job.
Don’t be obvious about it. Instead, do it casually and mention it as a transition from a conversation that you had during the interview.
For example, you can say something like, “The _____ project you were telling me about sounds exciting. I believe that my background in _____ could lend itself well to the project.”
There’s no need to recap all of your experience and qualifications since you’ve already discussed that.
Instead, mention one or two small pieces of information that will help the interviewer remember who you are when they look back at your resume. A brief mention of a prior job in a follow-up note can make it easier for them to connect the dots.
Let Them Know That You’re Eager to Learn
Regardless of how experienced you may be, all companies have their own way of doing things. Even experts in their field can learn a thing or two along the way, so make it clear that you’re excited to learn whatever you can.
This is also a great way to address that dreaded, “What is your biggest weakness?” question that often comes up in interviews.
For example, if you lack skills in a particular area, use the thank you note as a way to reiterate how eager you are to learn.
All it takes is a brief statement to make your point known. For example, you can say, “I’m always eager to learn more about _____ and I believe [insert company name here] would be a great place to do so.”
Keep it Short!
Whatever you do, remember that the point is to write a letter – not a novel. Keep it short and sweet. Be concise with your words.
The goal is to show your gratitude, not tell your entire life story or do a minute-by-minute recap of the interview.
Assume that whoever interviewed you is busy. The hiring process isn’t just stressful for the candidates – there’s also a lot of pressure on the interviewer to hire the person that’s right for the job. So, keep your letter to a few brief sentences and sign your name.
Borrow Inspiration From These Examples
Want to see a few great examples of follow-up letters and thank you notes? Here are a few samples and additional advice from the experts at Indeed.com.
Your interview is not over until you’ve sent a proper thank you letter. It not only shows your gratitude, but it also shows that you understand the process and can follow through on a task from beginning to end.
Send it the same day as your interview. Personalize it, so it doesn’t look like you copied it from a template on Google. Briefly mention (for the last time) why you’re qualified and reiterate that you’re always willing and eager to learn.
Include a few relevant details, but keep it brief. This is your last chance to make an impression, so make it a good one.
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