Post-interview thank-you correspondence is MANDATORY, not optional. In fact, some employers WILL drop the top candidate for neglecting this courtesy. Here is why you need to send a follow-up letter:
1. Shows courtesy toward the interviewer for their time.
2. Conveys interest in the position.
3. Reminds the employer about you in case you have faded into the memory of an employer who met too many people.
4. Allows you to introduce information that you neglected in the interview or didn’t do a great job introducing.
Despite these powerful benefits, less than 10% of applicants write and send thank you letters! You will stand out by taking the time to do this. Experience shows that between two equally qualified candidates, the one that sent thank you correspondence was usually hired. Why? Because they followed traditional business social graces, showed continued interest in the job opening, and demonstrated initiative and follow-through.
Don’t Send Generic Thank-You Notes
Thank you letters need thought, strategy, and substance. Therefore, don’t drop off a generic thank you note at the front desk as you leave. Instead, use the letter to emphasize why you are the best candidate, to overcome any areas where you faltered or were not clear, and to give tangible examples of why you are a great fit for the open position.
When to Send and What to Send; It’s So Confusing
Each of the items mentioned below has a specific purpose, and all of them have value. Which ones you use depend on the situation. Below is a brief explanation of each one and a suggested timeframe.
1. Email Thank You Note — This is a brief introductory note to the recipient notifying them that you have attached a thank you letter to the email. Send within 24 hours of your interview.
2. Email Thank You Letter — This is a formal electronic letter with your letterhead and contact information at the top. It is formatted using standard business letter construction and is attached to an email that you send to the recipient. Send within 24 hours of your interview.
NOTE: Some coaches recommend you send this email late in the evening so that it will be in the contact’s inbox the next morning. The logic behind that timing is because interviewer(s) were likely busy interviewing others on the same day and won’t have a chance to read their emails until the next day. Sending it later in the evening shows you are still excited and thinking about the position.
Need help with interviews? At Total Resumes, we offer interview coaching, delivered over the phone, by a Certified Employment Interview Consultant (CEIC) – (1 of 5 in Australia). We also offer a post-interview thank-you letter.