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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Thank You Letters

The primary purposes of thank-you letters are to express your appreciation, reiterate your relevant background, qualifications, and successes, and differentiate you from other job seekers. Most hiring executives appreciate a thank-you correspondence after an interview. And “some employers may expect a job interview thank-you card.” However, it has been said that only 20 percent of all job seekers take the time to write a thank-you note. If so, writing a thank-you note can differentiate you from other job seekers. And not sending a thank-you note may reflect negatively on your candidacy.

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An important secondary purpose is to make sure the hiring executive remembers you. In a survey by The Ladders, a combined 76 percent said a thank-you note was “somewhat important” or “very important” to their hiring decision. That’s three out of every four! Therefore, capitalize on this opportunity to reinforce your skills and accomplishments. Write a thank-you note after every interview. And keep it short. This is a thank-you letter, not an interview transcript.

To maximize the impact of your thank-you letter, use the following approach:

1. Express your appreciation

2. Match

3. Emphasize past achievements

4. Close

Let’s look at each step in more detail:

Express your appreciation

Thank the hiring executive for their time. Then, build rapport, depending upon the circumstances. Your first paragraph could look something like this:

I appreciate you taking time to meet with me regarding your implementation consultant position. I enjoyed learning how you derived the concept behind your state-of-the-art system. As we discussed, my knowledge in this area could assist your department with the challenges it will face in the coming months.

Or, perhaps like this:

Thank you for meeting me on Tuesday regarding the regional sales position. I appreciate your time. And, by the way, good luck to your son during tryouts for the starting quarterback position!

Match

Because you were interviewed, you should know what the hiring executive is looking for in the position. Briefly restate and match your qualifications to the need.

During our plant tour last week, I was impressed with your use of robotics in the manufacturing process. I can honestly say I have never seen such an efficient after-market manufacturing plant! With over fifteen years as an industrial engineer from near identical manufacturing environments I am well-suited for the challenges of this position.

Emphasize past achievements

Express your interest in the position, and link two or three job requirements with your accomplishments. For maximum impact, try to make them relevant to company needs, a position’s special qualifications, or topics mentioned in the interview. Your paragraph could look something like this:

I am interested in joining your company in an engineering operations capacity. As we discussed, my recent accomplishments include:

• Implemented a manufacturing process improvement system resulting in an $800,000 savings.

• Designed and implemented an inventory auditing system that increased turnaround time by 30 percent and reduced spending by 12 percent.

• Developed and implemented a “Visions” business plan that forecast budgets for a variety of business operations including equipment and technology upgrades, new facility construction, and reduced operating expenses.

Close

Here, express your continued interest and outline your plan to contact the hiring executive. Here’s an example of this final paragraph:

What I achieved for Sinc Company, I can do for you. I will follow up with you in ten days, as you requested, to discuss additional steps.

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