Now that you've interviewed for the job, you know exactly what the company is looking for and how your skills and experience match. A thank you note should carefully highlight how they fit together. Career counselors advise that a thank you note is also a great way to add anything that may have been forgotten in the interview and re-emphasize how your skills and experience relate to the job.
A thank you note demonstrates your ability to follow through. Michelle Scott, a human resources representative at a major bank in Chicago says, "From the mailroom to the boardroom, the ability to follow through is crucial. Regardless of the position, I'm always looking for candidates who actually do what they say they will do. Anyone who takes five minutes to write me a quick note is usually someone I can count on to see things through to the end."
"Another key attribute of a good candidate is enthusiasm. I believe that a candidate who takes the time to write a thank you note to reiterate his or her interest in a position is enthusiastic," adds Scott. Many hiring managers also say that they usually look for candidates with good communication skills to fill their open positions. What better way to showcase this talent than with a written note recapping your skills?
So how do you write a thank you letter to a prospective employer? An effective thank you letter is a brief, well-written reminder that you are the best candidate for the position. Use the note to market yourself and remind the interviewer of your qualifications. Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the job. If the hiring manager expressed any concerns related to the job, write the specific ways you can address them if you had the job. The more you can demonstrate how your qualifications match the open position, the more personally it will affect the interviewer.
It is also helpful to mention something specific that was discussed during the interview. For example, one candidate interviewed for a job at a company that was heading off to a major industry trade show the next day. He used the last paragraph of his letter to reiterate his hope that the company was successful in gathering good leads and making new customer contacts at the event. This showed that he was attentive to the company's activities and was familiar with the sales prospecting process at trade shows. Your ability to tailor the note to your specific interview and the relationship you established with the interviewer is what really counts.
Thank you letters should be concise, well-written and free from typos. Experts agree that a thank you note can be a personal hand written note or a formal business letter depending on the company's culture. How should it be delivered? If you think the company is going to extend an offer before a traditional letter will have time to arrive in the mail, send your thanks via fax or email and follow up with a hard copy in the mail. Regardless of how it is delivered, a meaningful thank you note that will remind the interviewer of your qualifications and leave a lasting impression.