I don’t know where you are located, but if you are in the States you know that Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s the time to give thanks, eat turkey, and watch football. This got me thinking not only about all the pie I am going to consume in the next few days but also about the importance of giving thanks to those who play a part in your job search. This could be the network connection that let you know of an open position, a colleague that served as a reference, or the hiring manager that conducted your interview.
Sending a thank you letter is not only proper business etiquette but it also shows that you are well-mannered and considerate – qualities that will always be looked favorably upon by a hiring manager. You should send a thank you letter as soon as possible after the interview. If you know that you do not have time to mail a thank you letter before a decision is made it would be perfectly acceptable to email a thank you, as long as you follow that up with a formal mailed thank you letter. If more than one person interviewed you, send a thank you to everyone involved; at the very minimum, mention them by name in the letter you send to the hiring manager.
A thank you letter can help you stand out and stay in the mind of the hiring manager. If there were a large number of candidates interviewing for the position it may be hard for the hiring manager to remember exactly which candidate you were. Help them put a face to a name by reminding them of a specific conversation, shared interest, or common bond that would help them remember you.
A thank you letter serves several purposes:
Reiterates your interest in the position
Reaffirm your desire for the position with a confident, assured, and enthusiastic tone that highlights your certainty that you are the best match.
Reminds the hiring manager of some aspect of the interview
Mention a specific part of the interview; it will help the hiring manager to recall your interview more clearly and show them that you were paying close attention.
Reviews the skills that make you the ideal candidate
Recap the specific skills you have that align with what the organization is looking for in the ideal candidate. Better than simply listing them is to give specific examples of how you would apply them.
Acknowledges the time the hiring manager spent with you
Thank them for the time they spent with you; mentioning the date is a good idea. You can say something like: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me last Tuesday.
Provides additional information
If you forgot to mention something during the interview or felt like you didn’t answer a question as well as you could have the thank you letter is the perfect opportunity to clarify those things.
A thank you letter is not optional. It is an essential part of the job search process and can play a part in singling you out as the ideal candidate. It can go a long way in supporting your professional reputation, building connections, and identifying you as the candidate of choice.
by Megan Koehler