There is a reason you have heard about the importance of sending a timely follow-up; it can make or break your chances at getting hired. In today’s digital age, there is really no excuse to not send a timely thank you note after an interview.
A follow up is your last chance to sell yourself to the employer. In order to best do so, there are some things you should include in your thank you letter to stand out among the crowd. Or, at least among those who decided to take this step. The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not you want to send a paper version, email or both.
Given today’s digital job search, turning towards email may be the easiest route to take. However, to really stand out you can utilize the lost art of the handwritten letter. The best way to determine whether you’ll opt for an email or handwritten thank you letter is to base the decision on the company you’re interviewing at. For example, if you’re applying to tech-savvy, digitally oriented company, chances are an email will be better. If the company is more old-fashioned and traditional, opting for a handwritten note is a better route.
Now that you’ve decided how to send a thank you, there are some things you should make sure to do or include in the note.
Send One to Each Person You Spoke To
These days, most interviews include conversations with many different people within the organization. You will usually speak with a HR representative, your potential supervisor and maybe someone else in the department. More often than not, these people will provide their business card at some point. This provides the opportunity to reach out after the interview as you now have their information.
Each letter you write should be specific to the conversation you had. If you spoke to everybody at the same time, take a component from each and include it in your note for a personal touch. According to a Yale career expert, “Putting the time and effort into personalizing your notes shows that you were paying close attention to the information conveyed by each interviewer. This will benefit you when the interviewers compare notes – which they will do.”
Include the Basics
If you’re struggling to figure out what to include in your thank you letter, start with the basics: reiterate your interest, express your appreciation for the interviewer’s time, emphasize what makes you the ideal candidate, highlight a previous experience that prepared you for the role and mention something specific from the interview that you found particularly appealing about the role.
You do not need to write a novel in your thank you; a few sentences will be more than enough, if you include the right things. If you opt for the email thank you, you can go a little longer, but try to keep the copy within one scroll of the mouse. For the handwritten route, invest in some card stock that you can use after each interview instead of plain white paper. Not only will this show you are serious, but it shows professionalism.
Your thank you note is the last impression you will make on the company before moving forward in the interview process. While you usually want it to help plead your case as the best candidate for the job, one riddled with errors may do the exact opposite. Having spelling and grammatical errors is one thing, but you need to check the names of the individuals and have the right company and position title. These simple things seem like no brainers, but far too often it is the simple things that we forget about.
A well-crafted, timely follow up note or email is your last chance at making a good impression on the company you interviewed with. If you’re struggling with writing your thank you, the aforementioned elements are important to remember.