An effective Thank You note should be more than just ‘good’ – it should be great.
With the onset of advanced technologies in today’s corporate world, some believe the hand-written letter of thanks has fallen by the wayside. That may be true with regards to the hand-written part, but as far as the idea of a Thank You letter in itself, I cannot say enough how the concept is still alive and well.
While it’s not necessary to handwrite a letter in today’s work culture because of the immediacy of email, it is necessary to send a Thank You letter, especially following a job interview. Further, you must write a powerful one at that – thanking the interviewer in a succinct and personal way.
Writing a post-interview Thank You note is one of the most important, yet often forgotten, steps in the job-search process. If you and another candidate are equal in the hiring manager’s eyes, receiving a well-written Thank You letter from one of the candidates, and not the other, can be the deal breaker for them.
When a candidate writes a compelling Thank You note following an interview, it shows interest, refinement and motivation – all characteristics that will impress a future employer.
CIO.com recently published an article on the topic. I’ve taken a few pointers from their piece and added a few of my own in the seven tips below:
1. Write your note after the interview.
In order to make the note personal, be sure to write the note after the interview. While it can seem like a time-saver to draft the Thank You note before the interview, doing so will lead to the letter looking templated and generic — something that may turn off the interviewer. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to cut corners by handing the interviewer their Thank You letter on their way out the door. This is not a good look for you to do this.
2. Send the note within 24 hours.
There’s no need to write your Thank You note on your way home from the interview, but I recommend emailing it within a 24-hour timeframe. In order to remain fresh in the interviewer’s mind, and for the details to stay fresh in your mind, it’s important to be timely with your response.
3. Write a Thank You note for everyone who interviewed you.
If you interviewed with multiple people, and / or if you went through a recruiter, you definitely want to draft a separate letter for each person that was involved in your interview process. Sending multiple Thank You notes may seem time consuming, especially if you’re interviewing with more than one company, but the effort in the end will be worth it. So, be sure to send your Thank You notes to the recruiter, the hiring manager, any other interviewers, and even the receptionist if they had a big hand in organizing your interview. Sending a group, or blanket, Thank You note may come across as lazy and inconsiderate.
4. Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.
Just as your resume needs to be free of typos, so does your Thank You letter, especially if the role requires attention to detail. Hiring managers, human resources professionals and recruiters alike look for mistakes like misspellings and typos to count you out for the role. Don’t lose your chance at getting hired over an easily avoidable step. Take the extra time to read over your note to make sure there are no spelling errors or typos – it’s worth the effort.
5. Be specific.
Without completely recapping the entire interview, include specific details from your conversation. This allows the hiring manager or recruiter to see that you were engaged in the discussion. This, of course, is another great way to express interest in a position. Try including a particular topic that was discussed, like a story or anecdote, or even something that you learned about the company or your potential role during the interview.
6. Thank them.
The whole purpose of the Thank You letter is to do just that – thank them. Make sure to say the words ‘Thank You’ – especially for the time he or she took out of their schedule to meet with you. Everyone likes when someone is respectful and courteous to them. This small expression can go a long way, and can potentially be what lands you the accounting, finance or IT role.
7. Add one last piece of value.
Often times, when you look back at an interview, you think of something you should have said but didn’t, or something that you could have clarified a little better. Use the Thank You note to add anything you may have forgotten to say during the interview, or to clarify anything you think may have come across better had you provided additional information. Whether that means adding one more example of how you handled a situation, something in your background that you forgot to point out, or another reason why you think you’d be the right person for the position, take this opportunity to add that last piece of value and help yourself stand out.
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