Jim spent hours preparing for his interview. He researched the company, practiced his answers for anticipated questions and made sure he dressed appropriately. The interview went well, but then Jim blew it. He never sent a follow-up thank you letter.
Taking the time to write a thank you letter or note right after your interview is essential; many employers eliminate candidates who do not take this important step. Aim to send your thank you letter the same day as your interview so the employer will have it in hand the following day. (For maximum impact, do not wait more than 24 hours after an interview to send your letter.)
Tips for Writing an Effective Thank You Letter
1. Remember that your thank you letter is a sales tool. In addition for thanking the employer for the interview, briefly state why you want the job and how your qualifications make you a good fit for the position. In your letter, you can also include other relevant information about yourself that did not come up in the interview which strengthens your case for being a great candidate for the job.
2. Keep your letter brief; two or three short paragraphs should be sufficient to convey the most important information.
3. Usually it is preferable to send a business letter by "snail mail." In this electronic age, a physical letter usually makes a greater impression because it takes more time and effort to produce than an email. If the employer is making a quick decision, however, it may be to your advantage to send your thank you via email. You can also send a quick thank you email and indicate that a thank you letter is on its way.
4. If you had a group interview, send a separate letter to each person. Change each letter so that no two are exactly alike. (Make sure to ask for a business card from each person at the conclusion of an interview so that you will have the contact information for your thank you letters.)
5. Remember to proofread each letter. (If grammar and punctuation aren't strengths for you, have someone else proof what you have written.) Typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors could potentially take you out of consideration for a job.
6. Keep a copy for yourself of each thank you letter you send.
7. Utilize templates to give you a format for your thank you letters. Here is an example you can use to stucture your own thank you letter.
Conducting a Successful Job Search
Writing thank you letters is a small part of conducting an effective job search. In this competitive economy, you can't afford to make mistakes in your job search campaign.
February 12, 2010
Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, are the authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life. Their websites, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com, www.ChurchJobsOnline.com, and www.ChristianJobFair.com, feature hundreds of job listings from churches, ministries, and Christian employers; a resume bank; and many other career/job search resources and articles. They also offer career coaching and testing to help you discover work that fits your God-given design, as well as assistance with writing a powerful resume, interviewing effectively, finding job openings, and other aspects of a successful job search. You can schedule a free consultation session today!