Last week, I spoke about the college graduates stepping into the job market and that the competition for a position might be tougher than one anticipates. So sending a post-interview thank-you note make the difference between landing the job and being completely overlooked. Yet, over half of job seekers never send one. While unlikely to make an employer totally reverse an opinion about you, when done well, thank-you notes can help you stand out from a crowd of applicants.
For example, if your letter is too generic, too short, or if it sounds like a template or scripted message, you probably won't win any points. I always talk about doing your homework for the interview. Now I want you to do homework for your 'thank-you' note.
Be Prepared for Thank You Note Success.
This might sound like more homework, but it will alleviate additional stress and help you take care of business right away. Have your note card, envelop and stamp before you step in the door for your interview. Buy an attractive blank note card. No humor, nothing fancy or with writing on the inside. This needs to reflect you, so keep the card simple.
Be sure to ask your interviewer for their business card, so that you know where to send the thank you.
After your interview, go sit quietly and think through what went well to prepare to write and mail your note.
The Best Thank You Notes are Short, Sincere, and Specific to your interview.
Think about the person, or people, who interviewed you. Ask yourself:
Did they enjoy our conversation?
Where, in particular, did we connect?
Was their interviewing style more on the “warm and friendly” or more on the “strictly business” end of the scale?
OK, got it? Now you’re ready to write.
What to Write
At the top, be sure to thank them for their time. Perhaps something like this - Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. I was glad to learn more about [name of organization]. I am now even more interested in working with [name of organization], and appreciate your help with the process.
Use the thank-you note as an opportunity to expand on points you made during the interview or to add additional information you want the company to know. For example, perhaps the interviewer asked about how you perform on a team, and you gave a great answer. Reiterate your pride in being a great team player and mention another example of your prowess in that area. But again, remember to keep it concise and job-specific.
Repeat your interest in the job (but don’t repeat your qualifications or act as if the interview is still going on!).
Be proactive. Close your handwritten note by showing that you want the job and will actively continue to pursue it.
No matter job you're applying for or what content you choose to include in your thank-you note, keep it succinct and polite and put it in the mail within the first 24 hours.
What About an Email Thank You?
There’s nothing wrong with saying 'thank you' twice. So if you’d like to send an email while your meeting is still fresh in your interviewer’s mind, do the thinking that’s described above first. Do not write the exact same message in the email. Write 1 or 2 brief, positive comments and click 'send' within the first 24 hours as well.
Saying “thank you” is not only the right thing to do, it is also an effective job search strategy.
Keep your 'Thank You' Note Short, Sincere, & Specific