How Important Is a Follow-Up Thank You Letter?

March 1, 2009 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Have you ever considered sending a thank you letter after an interview? You can guarantee that around 85% of the other candidates haven’t thought of it either. So can you think of a better way of ensuring you receive prominence in the interviewer’s mind than by sending off a note of thanks for their time – and by way of an after thought happening to mention – very briefly – why you would be perfect for the job?

According to a CareerBuilder.com survey of more than 650 employers: “Writing a thank-you letter after an interview doesn’t just showcase a candidate’s manners – it can also make or break their chances of landing a job. Nearly 15% of hiring managers say they would not hire someone who failed to send a thank-you letter after the interview, 32%say they would still consider the candidate, but would think less of him or her.”

“One-in-four hiring managers prefer to receive a thank-you note in e-mail form only, 19% want the e-mail followed up with a hard copy, 21% want a typed hard copy only and 23% prefer just a handwritten note.”

“26% of hiring managers expect to have the letter in-hand two days after the interview and 36% expect to have it within three to five days.”

When you consider that statistics show that less than 15% of candidates even bother to send thank-you letters, and of those little more than 1% actually create a personal letter verses a generic note of thanks, a post-interview thank you letter has got to be regarded as one of your strongest ‘personal’ marketing tools.

When writing your thank you letter, remember first and foremost that is what it is – a thank you letter – an acknowledgement of the time taken and interest displayed by the interviewer/s.

 Be brief and to the point

 Be personal, stating the name/s of the person/s present – ensuring that the spelling is correct

 Briefly – very briefly – mention any point you would like to reiterate that positions you as an ideal candidate

 Close on a bright and positive note stating you are looking forward to the next step in the interview process.

It’s just so simple and so effective.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes – and post-interview thank you letters that get you noticed

Beverley Neil

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