Sending a thank you or follow-up letter is simply not on the mind of the average job seeker. Once the interviews are over, most want to move on to the next best thing: applying for another job.
Although it’s important to keep your options open during a job hunt, it’s also good to make sure you don’t forget the companies you’ve already applied to. By sending the company a simple thank you letter, you could scoot yourself right up the consideration pile. Here are seven tips to consider when writing yours:
1. Make it personal. Instead of writing a generic thank-you note that simply states, “Thank you for the interview. It was great to meet you!”, get more personal about sharing what a pleasure you had in meeting X Company’s staff and your excitement about X position. The more personal the note, the more genuine it will feel to those reading it.
2. Highlight your selling points. In the thank-you letter, you’ll want to include a few sentences that highlight your selling points. What are your main reasons for applying for the position and why do you think you’re the best fit?
3. Address a topic not discussed during the interview. If there is something unique about you professionally that you did not discuss during the interview (a skill you bring to the table, volunteering effort, board membership, award won, etc.), you could find a way to slide it into your thank-you.
4. Don’t write a book. Although you do want to make sure that your note is personal, while addressing the specifics of your interview and interest in the job, you don’t want to write multiple pages—because those people to whom it is addressed will not want to read it all. About four paragraphs should do the trick.
5. Reiterate your thanks. Yes, you’ve already said it at the beginning of the note, but it’s good to thank the addressee(s) one more time for having given you the opportunity to apply. Your gratitude could really make a difference.
6. Address it specifically. When sending a thank-you note, you don’t want to address it to a general title like “Director of Personnel”. It’s much better to address it to the person(s) who conducted your interview, as well as everyone else who helped you during your visit (don’t leave out the receptionist!).
7. Send it soon. It’s always a good idea to send a thank-you letter within 48 hours of your interview—the sooner, the better. If sending via e-mail, try to do it within a few hours. If sending via snail mail, it’s good to overnight it to ensure you don’t blend in with the pool of faceless applicants.
Having the opportunity to interview for a position is truly something to be thankful for—because not everyone will have had the same opportunity as you. So show your gratitude by sending a thoughtful letter that does a good job of selling you as the right person for the job.
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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.
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