What Job Seekers Need to Know About Thank-You Letters

Today, writing a thank-you letter or email is a must after an employment interview. A thank-you serves multiple functions. In addition to thanking the person who interviewed you, you are demonstrating that you want the job, and if you feel like you didn’t respond adequately to some of the questions, the thank-you letter is another opportunity to address them. There are several types of thank-you letters – handwritten, typed, those you mail, send by email, long and short – so which do you choose?

The answer is, it depends! Research says that 22 percent of hiring managers, that’s one in five, are less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t send a thank-you note after an interview. And 89 percent say it is okay to send a thank-you note in the form of an email. Base your decision on which type of thank-you letter to send on the personality of the organization and what transpired during the interview process. Was the hiring manager upbeat? Were you able to connect with the interviewer? What kind of rapport did you establish? Was the interviewing process formal or informal?

If the process was informal and you established rapport with the interviewer, a hand-written note is acceptable. After the interview, if you have issues that you have to clarify, a typed thank-you note is more appropriate, and the length depends on how much you have to say.

Anatomy of a Thank-You Letter

  1. In the first paragraph of the thank-you letter, thank the hiring manager for interviewing you.
  2. In the second paragraph, if you believe you did not answer a question completely, or if you believe that the hiring manager has any doubts about hiring you, or you forgot to mention related qualification, now is the time to clarify and add the information. This is also the paragraph that you reiterate why you are the best candidate for the position.
  3. In the closing paragraph, thank the hiring manager for considering you for the position, and let him know how excited you are and that you are looking forward to hearing from him.

If you were interviewed by multiple people, send a thank-you letter to each person. By sending a note, you are signaling to the hiring manager that you understand and practice proper etiquette while using it as an opportunity to reinforce your strengths and interest as a candidate.



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