Tailor every part of your employment application to the job. That includes writing a cover letter and resume that specifically target the job and, importantly, a post-interview thank-you note that succinctly and politely expresses your appreciation for the interviewer's time and consideration. Although thank-you notes aren't required, sending one can certainly give you an edge in the hiring process. It is a courteous and professional gesture that demonstrates your interest in the job.
Review your notes to make sure you have the full names of every person who interviewed you. If you had a panel interview, maybe they provided you with their business cards. Contact the human resources department if you don't have their cards or if you're unsure of the proper spelling and title for your interviewers. When you call, simply say, "Hello, I'm John Doe and I was interviewed for the hospital pharmacy position. Would you please give the correct spellings of the names and titles for the people who sat in on my interview?"
You should send a thank-you note within 24 hours of your interview, but don't write and dispatch it so quickly that your interviewer thinks you may have had the note prepared before the interview. Prepare your draft letter and review your notes from the interview as you write. Recall at least one aspect of the job that you and the interviewer discussed at length or a job-related topic, such as the hospital opening a new wing and the need for a qualified pharmacist to take on a senior role when the facility brings on newly minted pharmacists. Make your note relevant so the interviewer knows you were paying close attention to the conversation. The body of your thank-you note might say, "Based on what you shared with me about County General Hospital, my qualifications appear to be ideally suited for the pharmacist role. You indicated you want a well-rounded pharmacist who has experience with outpatient, hospital and drugstore work, in addition to workforce management expertise in supervising pharmacy technicians. My qualifications and skills check all those boxes and I would be delighted to visit with you and the chief pharmacist about continuing my career at County General."
Finalize your letter by using standard business format for the letter. If you want to email it, format the body of the email just like a letter. Don't use abbreviations or Netspeak for a business email; use professional language and go light on the medical terminology and lingo. You've already proven you know the field, so you needn't toss in unnecessary buzzwords or hospital and pharmacy terms to show how much you know. Begin your email message the same way you would begin any other business letter: "Dear Ms. Smith." Use the proper greeting and closing salutation for your note, even if it's an email.
If you prefer to stand out among other candidates, hand write a thank-you note or prepare a typewritten thank-you letter on high-quality paper. Don't use your personal stationery if it's too frilly or has quirky designs or colors. Use plain paper, preferably heavier weight paper used for resumes, which is 32-pound paper, with a matching envelope. In a day when snail mail isn't used as frequently for job applications and employment matters, receiving an actual piece of mail may impress the interviewer.
- Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images