Going for the win with interview thanks letter
Published: Monday, January 8, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 11:33 p.m.
How much do post-interview thank-you notes or letters really impact hiring decisions? I'm inclined to think they're overrated - canned, flat and "Dear Aunt Martha" boring. If they're truly useful, should they be handwritten, typed or sent by e-mail?
When you're in a classy field of candidates, each trying to race down the stretch for the win, skipping a smart thank-you/think-me letter could leave you sucking dust.
The old-school thank-you letter is a nice document of manners; the contemporary thank-you letter is a necessary medium of marketing.
In constructing a thank-you letter, use the same powerful concepts as you would for a targeted resume that directly matches your qualifications with the job's requirements. The resume and the thank-you letter are bookends for your interview. The resume is the "before" communicator of your high-value qualifications, and the thank-you letter is the "after" chance to follow up for the win.
In your resume and during your interview, you sold yourself on being a great fit for the job - tit for tat in qualifications, competencies, skills and interest, punctuated with true and lively tales of accomplishments. Don't stop the winning streak that got you this far, but based on what happened during the interview, build on it! Here is sales ammo to morph your candidacy into a job offer.
In this digital age, most people send e-mail thank-you letters. This is usually fine for commodity jobs, especially when the hiring decision is going to be made within a few days or so. But for an important job, a typed dead-tree-industry letter is more impressive and memorable; send it by postal mail, or if time is short, via an overnight delivery service. The letter can run two, even three pages if it is flush with white space and easy to read.
True, some people swear by handwritten notes, but even when the penmanship is good, a note doesn't readily lend itself as a marketing tool when you go for the win. Even when you're addressing it to your old college roommate.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article