Should You Write a Thank You Letter?
Posted May 4, 2017 & filed under Interviewing
You did it! You just finished your interview, you’re excited at the chance of getting this opportunity with an excellent employer, and now you’re waiting for the employer’s decision. You find yourself immediately questioning whether or not to write a Thank You letter. Maybe the conversation was casual and you don’t want to come across as pushy. Perhaps the hiring manager mentioned interviewing several other candidates after you, so you don’t want to flood them with more work. No matter what; always write a Thank You letter. This can only help your chances.
Why You Send a Thank You Letter
“It’s polite. Sending a Thank You letter shows you’re genuinely interested. Think about it: If a company is interviewing two candidates with equal skills, and one of those candidates sends a Thank You letter while the other does not, which person do you think they will hire?” says Angie Keeling, an Employment Consultant at Omni One for over 17 years.
In addition to maintaining a polite and professional image, this letter is also your last chance to sell yourself in the role. Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your experience one more time, by explaining why you would be a great fit for the position.
A good rule of thumb for when to send a Thank You letter is ASAP, or at least within 24 hours of your completed interview. If the position is open and the company is interviewing, they likely are ready to make a hire. The speed of your Thank You letter is also an excellent indicator to the hiring manager of how interested in the position you are.
Hiring managers have a million and one things going on at once; they are trying to perform their current duties, while also interviewing 3-5 candidates with similar skills to yours. Make yourself hard to forget by remaining at the forefront of their mind.
Formatting the Letter
While handwritten and hand delivered Thank You letters are always a nice touch, email is the fastest method – and we are all about speed in this case! Below are some formatting techniques to adhere to:
- -Typed up and saved document in Word or PDF form; attached to email
- -Uses paragraph form
- -Include formal letter headings (name, address, email/phone number)
- -Checked for spelling and grammatical mistakes (we recommend that you have someone read over the letter before you send it – in our case, we always review our applicant’s Thank You letters first, for accuracy)
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- -Too short of a message: Use at least 5-6 sentences. Make sure your letter personally thanks the individual(s) you met with for the interview, mentions why you would be a good fit, and how you feel about the company/position.
- -Terms like “Dear”, “Good morning”, “Hello”: Keep the letter formal and address the interviewer(ees) by their full name.
- -Pointing out your flaws/weaknesses: Speak enthusiastically about the opportunity and stick to positives relating to why you can exceed expectations in this role!
- -Too vanilla: This letter’s message has a purpose, make sure that purpose is served!