To stand out as a job candidate, every detail counts. It can seem impossible to make a big impression even in a candidate market. When you’re searching for the perfect position, you may be applying to dozens of postings each week, and struggling to stay organized. Be sure to keep tabs on the all-important post-interview thank-you letter. This simple message can make the difference between you and your competitors, so follow our advice to maximize your chance at landing the position.
Don’t Miss Your Window
It’s important to follow up after your interview promptly. You don’t want to wait too long to thank your interviewer for their time. As soon as you can, compose a short, thoughtful message directed at the hiring manager. Common courtesy suggests you get in touch that evening or the next day. The best way to ensure your message gets across quickly is to select a rapid communication method; these days, email is best. Make sure you retrieve the appropriate contact information before you leave your interview so you can follow up with the person or persons that conducted the interview within 24 hours. If you interviewed in front of a committee, individual emails should be sent to each member thanking them for their time.
Keep It Simple
As a professional on the job hunt, it can be tempting to follow up with a detailed account of your skills and experiences. A thank-you note provides the opportunity to remind the interviewer of your abilities and mention anything pertinent you forgot to bring up. Often job prospects will include their LinkedIn profile or professional website link in a thank-you email. However, an employer won’t bother reading a thank-you note that is more than around two paragraphs. Remember, the purpose of this note is to thank them for their time. You don’t want to take up more of it with a rambling essay of your qualifications.
Personalize Your Message
One beginner mistake to avoid is sending out the same canned thank-you message following your interviews. A generic message is a huge turnoff to potential employers. You want to create a message that is authentic and impactful to reaffirm your interest. Make your thank you meaningful by bringing up an anecdote from the interview, or remarking on personal details they shared. You’ll jog their memory and bring back their focus to your abilities. You want to stay on their radar as a capable and ambitious professional suited for the role.
Get on Their Level
Although your post-interview thank-you letter can be casual, it’s important you match the level of professionalism in your note to that of the potential employer. If you chatted with a startup employee, a light tone is appropriate. If you met with the CEO of a Fortune 500, keep things formal. Think of your language and tone like a dress code: If you wouldn’t be comfortable wearing jeans at this office, don’t use slang or casual language. No matter what level of formality is required, triple-check your spelling and grammar. Proofread multiple times and forward it to someone you trust for review.
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