Sending a thank-you letter after a job interview helps you re-establish your fitness for the job and gives you an edge over job candidates who don't send one. For the letter to be effective, you must sell yourself to increase your chances of getting the job. Thank-you letters should ideally be sent within 24 hours of your interview, according to Quintessential Careers, but no longer than two days later. Include four paragraphs of no more than a couple sentences in each paragraph, and use each paragraph to state a specific point. Both emails and thank-you letters sent by postal mail are appropriate.
If you spoke with more than one person, send a letter to each one. They will eventually collaborate with one another about your qualifications, so writing to all of them can help refresh their memories about your skills and experience. The first sentence should be a simple thank you for taking the time to interview you. Use the second sentence to re-affirm your interest in and enthusiasm for the job. Include a compliment of the company or department. For example, say, "I was very impressed by the professionalism of your finance department, and know my background and skills would be a perfect fit for the job."
Reiterate skills you addressed during the interview in your second paragraph. Match your skills to those required of the job, which are usually listed in the company's job description. Use action verbs when describing your skills: manage, analyze, negotiate, achieve, etc. For example, you might say, "As we discussed in my interview, I manage a 10-person marketing team in my current job and have helped my employer achieve a 50 percent increase in brand recognition, according to a third-party audit." Close the second paragraph with a selling point. For example: "I am convinced that my skills and achievements in the industry make me the best candidate for the marketing manager job."
Stress again how you can benefit the company with your education, experience or accomplishments in the third paragraph. For example, say, "I have successfully increased sales in my territory by 5 percent or more the past five years, and can do the same for you." Mention any examples of your work you are including with the letter in this paragraph as well. If the interviewer had any concerns about your qualifications, such as a lack of experience in his particular industry, add a line reassuring him that your experience and skills easily translate to new industries.
Thank the interviewer for considering you for the job in the fourth paragraph, and say how much you are looking forward to hearing from him. Emphasize your eagerness to start the job in the same paragraph. Additionally, provide your contact information so the hiring manager can reach you with a job offer.
- Quintessential Careers: Job Interview Thank-You Letter Formula for Job-Seekers
- U.S. News & World Report: How to Keep Your Thank-You Note Out of the Trash
- U.S. News & World Report: How to Write the Perfect Thank-You Note After the Interview
- Virginia Tech: After Interviews/Thank-You Letters/Follow Up
- Wallstreet Personnel: Thank You Notes
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