Post-interview thank you letters aren’t complicated. They just require a little thought and preparation. [TWEET]
You’ve spent hours editing your resume, preparing for interviews and networking. All that hard work finally paid off. X Company sent you the golden ticket – an interview. Just don’t get too complacent. There are still a few more loose ends to tie up before you reach the finish line.
The interview thank you letter is still the most important closer for any position after you interview. It’s a critical opportunity to seal the deal. So you need to get it right. But you may ask “How hard is it to say thank you?” You may be surprised at just how tedious saying thanks really is.
Interview thank you letters need to include certain points, confirmations and the most crucial but sometimes missed, thank you sentence. Dust off your pen and paper and get ready to write. These quick seven interview thank you letter tips will help polish your note and prove to the boss you have what it takes to advance their company.
1. Say thank you.
The most crucial element of any thank you letter is often the most overlooked. Recruiters say they want to see the words “thank you” in the letter. While this may seem obvious, there are certain points to remember. Say thank you. Don’t just beat around the bush about it. Thank-you notes should tell the hiring manager why their time invested was well worth it. They interview hundreds of candidates each year. Let them know why you are different. Leave a lasting impression. Here are two examples of job-winning thank you sentences:
“Thank you for offering me the opportunity to meet with you. I know selecting the right candidate takes time and effort. As a professional account manager with more than 20 years of account management experience, I am confident I can…”
“It was a pleasure meeting with you on…Thank you for the opportunity to interview for…at…I feel my 20 years of advanced account management skills will serve to…”
2. Be sincere.
Don’t be just another name in the file. Use your job interview thank you note to show the team you actually care about them and the time they spent with you. Hiring managers receive several hundred dull, impersonal notes each year. Keep it professional, but make them smile. Mention something that came up in the interview or a mutual interest. Take time to write a sincere letter, not one of those pointless templates found online. Making the thank you letter personal is not only nice and respectful, but it also keeps your name in the back of their mind. Who knows, they may think of you when an even better position opens. Here are two examples:
“Sara, thank you for recommending…I have put your advice to practice and believe it will help me…”
“John, thank you for taking the time to explain…I would love to discuss more methods to…”
3. Pay attention.
Use this time to show the team you were paying attention. Don’t name drop or schmooze. Just show that you know a little about the company. Hiring managers will often volunteer certain talking points about the company during the interview. Listen to these points and reiterate them in your letter. Additionally, ask questions during the interview. Learn about the company’s social initiatives, community engagement, etc. expound upon these services and offer suggestions. Here are two examples:
“I was excited to learn X Company has a foothold in the textile industry. This is important to the community because…”
“I loved the idea that X Company engages with local charities by encouraging team members to volunteer during their off time. I plan to contribute by…”
4. Show enthusiasm.
Hiring managers want to see happy, excited candidates. They don’t want to hire people who just want to earn a paycheck. Regardless of whether you are applying temporarily until your dream job arrives or are actually excited, show your enthusiasm. This is a very important element to every position. But many applicants simply don’t show that they are excited. Tell the hiring manager you are interested in the position. Say it in your cover letter, during the interview and in your interview thank you letter. Don’t go overboard though. Hold some of the excitement back. Here are two examples of what to include in your thank you note:
“Thank you for this opportunity. I am excited about this position because…”
“Your company’s involvement with…is a perfect match for me. I am interest in applying my experience and abilities by…”
5. Give reason to think you’re the perfect fit.
Along those same lines, employers want to be excited about you. Give them a reason to believe hiring you is a perfect match. Hiring managers choose candidates based on their alignment to the company. Skills, experience, values and philosophy all come into play. Go back over the job listing and choose the two most important traits the company looks for in an applicant. Compare those traits to items in your resume and connect them. Look for the company’s mission statement and apply it to your own core beliefs. Don’t just make a claim. Show how you’ve applied these principles and values to your career and life. Here are two examples:
“Honesty, integrity and dedication: These are the three principles I incorporate into my professional and personal life. In my previous role as…I applied these three values by…”
“In my previous role as…I applied my knowledge of…by…Through this project I learned the most important element of any business is the clients we serve.”
6. Share something new.
Interview thank you letters should be more than a regurgitation of appreciation, reiteration and brown-nosing. Hiring managers want to get to know you better. Include a few elements you left out on your resume, cover letter or in the interview. For example, you may have skimmed over some of your community engagement and would like to show how your extracurricular activities fit into your career. The job interview thank-you note should include a new question or point you missed. Think back to the interview and the answers you received. Take time to include a sentence to expand on an answer or category. Here are two examples:
“During the interview we discussed the importance of making clients feel welcomed. While working at…I encouraged clients to share more about themselves by…”
“As we discussed, I counsel disadvantaged youth during the summer. One of the programs I am passionate about is…”
7. Use correct spelling and grammar.
One of the fastest ways to disappoint the recruiter is bad spelling and grammar. Not only is this sloppy and lazy, it shows the recruiter you don’t care and aren’t willing to take the time to ensure mistakes are avoided. Yes, we all make mistakes, but there is no excuse for language mistakes in a thank you note. Microsoft Word has an excellent proofreading tool and should be utilized. After writing the letter, check it using your computer’s proofreader. Next, read the letter out loud to catch any mistakes missed by Word. Keep in mind, Word often misses similarly spelled words and usage. For example, “manger” is mistaken for “manager.” And “to” is mistaken for “too.” Double check your information as well. Hiring managers take offense to misspelled names and incorrect addresses. Make sure it’s Stevens and not Stephens.
Writing an interview thank you letter is a bit more difficult than you may think. There are several points to reiterate, items to expand upon, information to clarify and a thank you or two to say. When writing your thank you letter, carefully consider the interview. Go back over your notes and determine at least five main points to revisit in the letter. Take those points and break them into five paragraphs. Use the above tools to expand the topics into professional, yet personal, paragraphs.
Most importantly, consider what you’d like to see in a job interview thank you note. Ask yourself these questions. How would I like to be treated? Did I show them I value their time and help? Are there any points I would like to understand further? Thank you letters aren’t complicated. They just require a little thought and preparation.
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