What is a thank you/follow up Letter?
Thank you letters are written expressions of your appreciation for the time, information and/or recommendations given to you in a formal or informal interview, during a particularly helpful phone call, or even through a great e-mail message.
Who to send thank you letters to?
Thank you letters are appropriate to send to employers, potential employers, contacts, professors, and anyone who has helped you with job leads, recommendations or suggestions for your job search. If you interviewed with several people, sending a thank you letter to each one is the best approach. You can make it essentially the same letter, but vary at least a sentence or two to individualize the letters in case the recipients compare notes.
When to send thank you letters?
A thank you letter should be sent in a timely manner. Sending out a letter within 24-48 hours is best, but not later than a week after the interview.
Why write a thank you letter?
- Helps build a relationship with the interviewer
- Helps to project a positive image of yourself
- Keeps your name in front of the interviewer
- Demonstrates you are truly interested in the job
- Shows that you are a follow-through type person
- Allows you to reinforce your key strengths
- Provides a second chance for you to mention important points you might have forgotten to mention during the interview
- It is wise to consider every tool that will give you an advantage in this tight job market.
- A survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com in August 2005 found that nearly 15% of managers would reject a job candidate who neglected to send a thank you letter after the interview and 32% said they would still consider the candidate, but that their opinion of him/her would diminish
How to send a thank you letter?
Thank you letters can be typed, handwritten or e-mailed. Hard copies are most formal and are appropriate after an interview. Handwritten is more personal and can be appropriate for brief notes to a variety of individuals you may have met during on-site interviews. E-mail is appropriate when that has been your means of contact with the person you want to thank, if your contact has expressed a preference for e-mail, or if you are in a hurry.
Tips for Writing Thank You letters
- Keep your letter short and simple – one page is enough
- Help the interviewer remember you by referring to specific points discussed in your interview. It shows that you were listening and will refresh the interviewer’s memory of you.
- Be sure your letter is professional, for example: typed, no grammar or spelling errors, etc.
- Emphasize your qualifications, especially those that are most relevant to the position.
- Provide any information that was overlooked during the interview or that which was specifically requested by the interviewer.
- Express your continued interest and your enthusiasm for the position
- Remember, very few people bother to send thank you letters – this can be your edge!
- Do not send the thank you note via your phone.
- Make sure several people proofread the note before sending it.
Format of Thank You letter
- Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you (mention the date of the interview). Remind the interviewer of the position for which you interviewed.
- Restate your interest in the position and the company/school/organization. Mention something you have learned from the interview or comment on something of importance that you discussed. Again, emphasize your strengths, experiences, skills, accomplishments and slant them towards the points that the interviewer considered the most important for the position.
- Once again, thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration. If appropriate, close with a suggestion for further action (if a second interview is a possibility), or mention that you will follow up with a phone call in a few days. Provide your phone number and a time you can best be reached.
Where to get more help?