When coaching clients, I frequently hear, “Do I really need to send a thank you letter after an interview? Isn’t that old-fashioned? I reply with a question, “Do you really want the job?” Of course, you should send a thank you letter. The goal of the letter is to thank the interviewer for their time, to follow-up on items discussed in the interview, and to underscore your strengths. You can knock out a fabulous thank you letter if you follow these steps.
1.) During the interview, jot down very brief notes. In particular, make note of the top challenge (or problem) that the person they hire will tackle, any upcoming changes in the department or company as a whole, and any other areas where you excel in relation to the job at hand.
2.) Before you leave the interview, obtain a business card from your interviewer. You’ll need his or her contact information.
3.) Write a simple three-paragraph letter. In the first paragraph, thank the interviewer and state you are a match for the position. The second paragraph is to hit the reader hard with three items addressing the company’s needs and how you fill those needs. Use examples of past success in similar situations. You can use a traditional paragraph style for the second paragraph or three bullet points. The last paragraph is your call to action. Bring it home with an offer to provide any additional information and restate your interest in the position.
If you want the job, you must communicate your value and interest at every phase of the selection process. For more reading on job search letters, click on these links: