Thank You Letter Follow Up

What suggestions would you pass along about writing a post interview thank-you letter?

After an interview is your vital moment to continue selling your unique skills, qualifications, accomplishments, and credentials. Most candidates don’t bother sending a thank-you letter, so you will already stand out by actually sending one.

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What should you include in the thank-you letter?

1. Address your candidacy: If, during an interview, there was a specific objection raised as to your appropriateness as a candidate, use your thank-you letter to respond to and overcome those concerns.

2. Meet their needs and challenges: If, during an interview, the company communicated their specific needs and challenges, use the thank-you letter to clearly demonstrate how you can meet those needs and eliminate those challenges.

3. Reiterate qualifications: If, during an interview, the company communicated their ideal qualifications for a candidate, use the thank-you letter to outline how you meet and exceed each of those qualifications.

Even if you feel you are repeating yourself by reiterating what was already discussed in the interview, I assure you that there is nothing more effective than repeating those things to the interviewer. Of course most of us would prefer to email a thank-you letter, but I encourage you to mail a handwritten note if you have the chance, for the precise reason that almost nobody does this anymore.

Nelly Grinfeld, MBA, NCRW, CEIC

The thank-you letter is the perfect summary of your interview performance. It’s your chance to underscore an important answer or say something more about a subject you feel you didn’t quite say enough about the first time around. It’s also your opportunity to repeat why you’re the right person for the job and what you can do on the job that another candidate cannot.

I also believe strongly that email-only thank-you letters, while convenient, are impersonal. I urge my clients to send handwritten notes or cards as thank yous whenever possible—I can just about guarantee this will make their candidacy stand out.

Cheryl Lynch Simpson, CMRW, ACRW, COPNS

Thank-You Letters When You Are Not Selected for the Job

This letter builds bridges for the future and is a very strong networking technique. It will differentiate you from others and create a favorable impression with the hiring executive. There are two good reasons for doing this. First, it can leave the door open for future opportunities with the company. It is not uncommon for employers to revisit previous candidates when new opportunities become available.

Additionally, since professionals within an industry often run in the same circles of influence, the letter distinguishes you and could lead to other business relationships with the hiring executive. Writing a professional correspondence after a decision not to hire shows the hiring executive your character and professionalism. You don’t know where, when, and in what way your paths may cross again. The letter helps ensure the next engagement is positive—be it business or personal.

Some Final Words about Written Communications

As you know, communication is a sought-after skill (written, verbal, and listening). Being able to write effectively and persuasively is important in your job search and it will be evaluated. What you write about, how you communicate it, sentence structure, word choice, grammar, punctuation, and proofreading are evaluated against other job seekers. By following the Cover Letter Success Formula and proper thank-you letter writing techniques, you can feel confident that your written communications will differentiate you from other job seekers, grab the attention of the employer, and result in a higher success rate.

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Interview Preparation

Do you need help with preparing for an interview? If so this is for you.

Tell me about a time you’ve disagreed with a senior member of staff

The Real Question: When it comes to office politics are you going to be a pot stirrer or can you work through disagreements in a mature, productive way? We don’t want playground drama around here.

Top-line Tactic: Show you can debate like an adult for the betterment of the business, by responding openly and honestly.

No one ever says in an interview: “I’m a handful! If there’s an office feud, juicy piece of gossip or long-held grudge going on, I’m probably a part of it.”

Interviewers know that and so have found subtler ways than direct questions to figure out how you handle conflict and whether you can maintain a healthy separation between the personal and the professional. This question is one of those ways.

The success of your answer depends as much on tone as content. You’re looking to convey the warmth, understanding, rationality and professionalism with which you deal with your disagreements in the way you answer the question. Stay well away from political struggles, hurt feelings or battles over territory or influence. Instead, offer an example of professional people sitting down together to arrive at an answer to a contentious business question. Stress your ability to fight your corner in a constructive way that utilizes evidence and emotional intelligence.

I had a disagreement over sales strategy in my last job. I used to generate leads on the phone, but management wanted us to change tactics and go out to sell on foot. For me that wasn’t the best use of my time. I thought we should establish a connection first through phone calls, then develop a tailored marketing solution for our best prospects. Also, it was quite a big firm, and I thought going door to door wouldn’t present the right image.

I said I thought there was a better way of doing things and asked whether they really wanted us to be seen as a door-to-door sales company as opposed to a professional outfit that would quantify an opportunity before going out to act on it. Management let me trial my approach and it worked, so they implemented it across the regional sales force. I’d only been there for two and a half months at the time, so I thought twice before saying anything, but I was sure that applying a methodical structure to the problem would increase productivity and in the end I was proved right.

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