The importance of a thank you letter cannot be emphasized enough. It is a must! Although it is easy to sit down and write a short note, hardly anyone does, and the moment you do, you set yourself aside from the crowd.
Send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the job interview. When a decision is being made quickly about a position, you want to get the letter into the hands of the employer as soon as possible. The faster the letter gets to its destination the greater the chance of creating a positive impression.
When writing a thank you letter, be sure to:
- Get the correct names, titles and contact details of the person or people who interviewed you. Always address a thank you letter to a specific individual, not just the general title of their position (i.e. “Director of Personnel”). If you did not get a business card or are unsure of the contact information, stop by the receptionist desk before leaving. Be sure their name is spelled correctly
- Make sure your thank you letter is business-like in appearance. It is good to print them on the same paper stock as your resume. If you are unable to do so, use good quality paper and envelopes. Avoid colored stationery - it looks unprofessional. If you have letterhead stationery use it.
- Spell check and proof-read all your correspondence. You can also ask someone else to proof it for you. That way you will be sure it's all correct. Spelling and grammatical errors are the easiest way to make a bad impression.
- Write individual letters to each person who interviewed you, keeping the essentials the same but briefly personalizing each one. You can also include anyone who helped you with setting up the interview.
All thank you letters should:
- be short and to the point
- express your appreciation for the interviewer's time and interest
- state briefly why you enjoyed the interview, the company and the job
- show enthusiasm for the job opportunity and highlight your desire to take the next step
- reiterate briefly your suitability by touching on specific job-related strengths. However don't oversell yourself, this distracts from the fact that it is a thank you letter and can make you look desperate
- mention anything pertinent that you forgot to discuss in the interview, but the focus should be on thanking the interviewer
How you close your interview thank you note is your choice. Acceptable closings include: "Sincerely," "Respectfully yours," "Kind regards," and "Yours truly,".