Saying 'thank you' will never become outdated. Just like saying 'hello' when we meet someone or saying 'sorry' when we do something wrong. Those are social protocols and conventions made to help us express our gratitude, respect, and friendliness to each other. Writing a post-interview thank you letter though is more than just being nice and friendly to a prospective employer. It is about increasing your chances of being hired (iCIMS study reveals that recruiters will more likely hire a candidate who asked for a bigger salary and sent a thank you letter compared to one who didn’t send a thank you note requesting less money). Therefore, if you are serious about landing a job then your efforts shouldn’t end with resume writing, cover letter writing, and interview preparation.
Four Reasons to Send a Thank You Letter
A personalized thank you note is an effective marketing tool that can help you get job offers. While many job seekers tend to ignore this powerful tool, those who take the time to craft a targeted letter after an interview have an edge over their competitors. If you still doubt about sending your thank you note, check four reasons how it can help position you as a stronger candidate.
Reason 1: Keep your candidacy on top of their mind. For some reason, job seekers tend to trust everything to the hands of hiring managers after the interview. However, even if you are the best candidate it doesn’t necessarily mean that the decision-makers will be able to keep you in their minds despite the variety of other candidates and ongoing administrative work. Reminding about your interest will inevitably help prospective employers remember you which cannot hurt.
Reason 2: Additional vehicle for communicating your strength. While this kind of letter is used to express gratitude for the opportunity, it can also serve a better purpose at the same time. It provides an extra chance to communicate your skills and qualifications that will help you perform better at a new place. Besides, after an interview, you should better understand the job requirements as well as company culture which means you will be able to select the most relevant skills to highlight.
Reason 3: Address the issues that came up during the interview. Not all interviews go well. It may well be that after the meeting you realized that there were some things you should have said or some questions you should have asked. A thank you letter is a perfect channel for addressing such issues as opposed to hoping everything will be fine on its own.
Reason 4: Reconnect and develop rapport with a prospective employer. It is always a great idea to recap a part of your conversation with the hiring manager (especially those parts where you shared similar views on the job requirements and perspectives). This will increase their comfort level in your candidacy. Besides, the best way you can reconnect is to address some of the issues the company is facing by providing specific ideas and solutions.
Thank You Letter Format
There is not much space for creativity on a thank you letter. Whether you want to simply thank your interviewer or address some issues that came up during the interview, the format of your thank you letter will be the same.
A thank you letter is visually split into three main components: your name with contact details, the hiring manager’s name and company information, and the main body, which usually consists of three paragraphs. Single space your thank you letter leaving some white space between the components as well as the main body paragraphs. It is recommended to use the standard left justification. To make it more readable, go with Arial, Verdana, or Times New Roman font of 10 or 12 point size.
There are three main formats people use to thank their prospective employer: a typed letter, handwritten letter, and email message. Now the content for all of these formats will almost be the same (except for handwritten and email message where contact information is usually left out). Most people go with a typed letter or email thank you note. Sending a handwritten thank you note gives a personal touch to the message and is more fitting if you are sending it to a law or accounting firm. However, a typed letter or email is fine too. Regardless of the format you choose for your thank you letter, you must make sure it is concise, error-free, and sells your best skills.
What to Say in the Main Body of a Thank You Letter?
First Paragraph. This is your opening where you have to thank the hiring manager for the chance of being interviewed. It may well be that you were talking to more than one person at the meeting so mention all of them by name expressing your gratitude for the opportunity. If you want to go a step further, you can send them each a personalized thank you note too. Lastly, mention the position you were interviewed for in this paragraph. It will help the decision-makers remember you right away.
Second Paragraph. That’s the place to reiterate your interest in the position as well as address the issues that came up during the meeting. If you have nothing to address (which means that your interview went smooth), consider listing the reasons why you will be a good fit for the job by including relevant skills and examples. After the interview, you must understand the job requirements better after all. Keep in mind that all employers are projecting the potential value you can add to the company so focus on things that highlight how you can practically help the employer. If needed, include relevant information about your past experiences or accomplishments that you forgot to mention during the meeting or simply didn’t have a chance to discuss.
Closing Paragraph. Reiterate your appreciation and let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them soon. If you want to follow up later, let them know when and how you are going to do it. Don’t add any “heavy” information in this paragraph. Use a formal closing such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Regards’ in the closing.
Thank You Letter Example
Email Thank You Letter Example