Winning Thank You Notes After the Interview

Thank You Letters / Notes are one of the most overlooked parts of the job interview process, mostly because they happen after the interview.  If you want to gain that edge in being selected for the job, then be sure to use a Thank You Letter!  The Thank You Letter is another very important marketing tool in your search, learn to use it to your advantage.

A winning Thank You Letter will reinforce the employers confidence if they think you are their perfect candidate or put you over the top when an employer is undecided between two candidates.

NOTE: If you are being represented by our firm, ALWAYS send the email Thank You Note to us first (not the employer). We can make sure it presents you in the best light and gives you the best shot at the job.  We will send this note on your behalf.  This is another value add to our candidates!

The Format of your note:

1. Thank the employer for their time and interest and show enthusiasm.

2. Reiterate core expertise.

3. Cover objections.

4. Ask for the job.

Keep it Brief

While there are really no rules when it comes to the length of a Thank You Note, in today’s fast paced electronic world, the brief, direct and to the point always wins out.

The successful letter needs to cover 3 main things.  First thank the person for taking the time to interview you,

“Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today and taking me on a tour of the facility…”

Additionally, show some enthusiasm for the position.  Study after study about attraction says people are more attracted to those who express their attraction towards them.  This principle applies in your job search.  One way to do this is along with the thank you, give the employer a genuine compliment about their company, the success of the hiring manager or anything specific you learned at the interview that is commendable.  It doesn’t hurt to do all of the above, but just be sure to be specific!

“I’m excited for this opportunity with ACME and I am very impressed that as a manager you single handedly recruited this team, put all the standards in place and are creating some amazing software that is a true game changer in the Healthcare industry.”

Next, you need to reiterate how your skills match the needs of the role.  During the interview you should have asked the employer what challenges they are trying to address in this role and what the most important skills will be when considering candidates.  Take notes on this during the interview and then reiterate how your skills match in the follow up note.

“Mr. employer, I understand that strong .NET programming with the MVC framework is the most important attribute of the candidate you want to hire in this role.  I’ve been working with the MVC framework for the last three years and I’ve got experience with the latest version 4.0 that you are using in your shop.”

Close out your Thank You Note by addressing objections they may have.  How do you know what the objections are?  One of your questions at the end of EVERY interview should be, “What concerns do you have about my ability to do this job?”  After you ask this question, take notes on these objections.  If these are unfounded, then address them in the interview. Don’t assume the employer will figure it out.  They won’t!  Address it live and then again in your Thank You note.

“I know that strong AJAX and some Mobile development work is desired for this role.  As I mentioned I’ve had to learn many new technologies in regards to .NET development and I promise that my AJAX experience, albeit limited, will improve rapidly as every other technical skill has in the past.  As I mentioned in the interview, I’ve prototyped some mobile apps and I’ll be up to speed in a week once I dig in.”

In closing…

To close the Thank You note, ASK FOR THE JOB!  Let the employer know that you want the job and that you are ready to make an impact to the team.  Don’t be needy. Just be enthusiastic, confident and positive.

“Mr. employer, I want you to know that I’m extremely interested in this position and I want to work with you and your team!  I can make a strong impact, and I hope you will agree that I’m a fantastic fit for this role.”

Electronic vs. Snail Mail

There is much debate on this topic and I’ll lay it to rest here.  90% of the time, send an email.  Yes, there are nice personal touches that are added to a handwritten note, here here is why we advise against it:

1. Handwriting – sometimes poor handwriting or simply handwriting that is worse than the employer could cast a negative impression.

2. Time is your worst enemy – when it comes to job hunting, time is always working against you.  The longer any job process drags out, the less likely you are to get an offer.  In this case, it may take days for your note to get to an employer and sometimes the note never arrives because of postal service or the company mailbox just isn’t checked for weeks.  While we have the best intentions of mailing these handwritten notes immediately, it may take a day and this further compounds the time issue.

There could be an exception on this email vs. snail mail if the company is small and you are sure to mail the note that day, but even then, handwriting and spelling could come back to haunt you.

Drop it Like it’s Hot

Be sure to send that email or note ASAP!  Remember to ask for the email at the end of interview. If you forgot, call the main company line and explain that you just interviewed and want to send an email to the manager to thank them.

There you have it.  A simple and effective way to increase your chances of getting a job offer out of your next interview.

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