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The Power of the Post-Interview Thank You Letter

The Power of the Post-Interview Thank You Letter

The Power of the Post-Interview Thank You Letter

Thank-You Note Tips

Just as resumes have undergone a dramatic change over the past 20 years, so too have post-interview thank you letters. Twenty years ago, a resume was typically a one page document that briefly listed a candidate’s overall work experience and academic credentials. As the employment market changed and became more competitive, so did the resume. Today, they are powerful marketing tools designed to sell a candidate’s skills, accomplishments, and expertise in order to give a job seeker a competitive edge over other candidates. The same changes can be said for cover letters.

Now, these changes also apply to the post-interview thank you letter. In the past, if such a letter was actually sent, it simply stated, “Thank you for your time; I’m very interested in this position.” However, in today’s market simply saying thank you is not enough. Candidates need to take this same concept of selling their skills and accomplishments and integrate it into their thank you letters. A well written and convincing thank you letter should be a powerful document designed to continue selling a candidate long after the interview is over.

So, how can you create thank you letters that present compelling reasons to further your candidacy?

First, in order to create a thank you letter with the most impact, it must be customized to each person with whom you interviewed. It also should focus on the issue that is most significant to that particular person and the company as a whole. What you include in your thank you letter will depend on your specific interview situation and what you discussed with each interviewer.

Here is a list of sections you should include in your thank you letters:

Reinforce Points from the Interview

It’s difficult for a hiring manager to remember every detail of every interview they conduct with candidates. So, emphasizing the important points of your background, as they relate to the company and the specific position for which you are applying, will go a long way in distinguishing you from your competition. Even if your specific skills and qualifications were discussed in the interview, take this opportunity to reiterate and further expand upon these experiences as they directly relate to the company’s operations, current needs, and future goals.

Address Specific Challenges and Problems

If the hiring manager shared some of the challenges or problems facing their organization, relate how your experience is tied directly to their needs and the skills you have to help them solve these problems.

Suppose he/she indicated that morale is slipping within the department and that it’s impacting turnover. Your thank you letter can describe how you led several key initiatives to raise the spirits of the members of your department.

Or, perhaps he/she discussed a work flow challenge the department is facing. Share your past experiences designing and implementing work flow changes that have led to greater efficiencies and increased productivity.

Communicate New Information

Everyone walks out of interviews at one time or another realizing there was something really important about their background or qualifications that wasn’t covered during the initial discussion. Perhaps there wasn’t enough time, or the interviewer’s agenda didn’t lend itself to discussing that topic, or you just plain forgot. Here’s where the thank you letter comes in. It’s precisely the tool to use to bring those achievements, experiences, project highlights, and qualifications to their attention.

Respond to Objections from the Interviewer

If the hiring manager communicated an objection to hiring you, address it in the thank you letter. For example, let’s say the hiring manager was concerned that you’ve never worked in Atlanta, and therefore, don’t have any professional contacts in that area. Use the thank you letter to explain how you previously entered new markets and immediately developed strong networks. That’s one of the reasons you’ve been so successful in your previous positions.

Using the thank you letter as a competitive marketing tool means that they might sometimes be longer than one page. That’s perfectly ok! There are no “thank you letter” rules that dictate these documents must be just one page long. What should dictate their length is the amount of valuable information you want to include. If the company has already extended you the opportunity for an interview, they’re already interested in you. And, in most cases, they will carefully read any and all material you subsequently forward to them — including a powerful, well-worded, and compelling post-interview thank you letter!
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You only look for a job a few times in your life. Compared with the amount of time you spend actually doing it, investing time and energy in an effective job search repays the effort many times over. Studies show that people who understand and do well at the job search process enjoy substantially more job satisfaction and higher earnings over the course of their careers.

Those who put extra effort into the job search can bring not just a more satisfying life but extra salary.

We are here to help. ItsNotYouItsYourResume.com has compiled an impressive list of contributors including writers from 10BiggestInterviewMistakes, 10BiggestResumeMistakes, MyOnlineCareerCoach and MyOnlineCareerSpace, who have written the following:

Job and Career Books:

101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know

Ultimate Online Job Search EBook

Top 10 Interview Mistakes

10 Biggest Resume Mistakes

More Articles

How Personal Branding Works And Its Affect On Your Job Search

The Definition of Online Personal Branding

The Essential Skill of Executive Branding

Online Job Search Quick Tips

How to Handle Phone Interviews

How To Write A Cover Letter

How To Use Thank You Notes To Aid Your Job Search

How To Properly Make A Salary Request

Seven Tips for Negotiating Your Employment Package

You May Ask, Why Career Coaching?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 at 12:56 am and is filed under Cover Letters, Interview, Thank-You Notes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “The Power of the Post-Interview Thank You Letter”

  1. Susan Irelnad Says:

    Nice post. Thank you notes and emails have tremendous influence. Imagine two candidates appearing equal in the eyes of a hiring manager. One sends a “thank you;” the other doesn’t. Who do you think would get the job offer?

  2. AndreaD Says:

    I agree that Thank You notes are important, but what are your thoughts if your interview was initiated through a recruiter? Should the note be sent to my recruiter, the actual people who interviewed me at the job, or both?

  3. admin Says:

    Great comment.

    A general ‘run of thumb’ is the send a thank-you letter to anyone who was part of the interview (if it was a panel interview, then hopefully you secured business cards from all in attendance)… so if a recruiter secured the interview, then yes, I would recommend sending them a note as well.

    Best!

  4. Fred Thomspon Says:

    I agree. Even the littlest things in today’s market can make a difference… and it is not common knowledge to send thank you notes. I’ve taken up the practice and recommend it to my friends too!

  5. Oscar Durrance Says:

    Hey there. I found your blog by way of Google while searching for a related subject, your website came up. It appears to be great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit later.Sent From Ipad

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Resume Help, Resume Advice. Learn
and avoid these biggest resume mistakes
 
Resume Help, Resume Advice. Learn
and avoid these biggest resume mistakes