After you’ve had a job interview it is considered excellent manners, and also a possible way to secure a job, to send a thank you letter. Though the thank you letter is customary after an interview, many people still don’t observe this custom. In competitive job markets, it makes sense to stand out as an applicant, and one way to do this is by writing a brief thank you letter.
You should write and send your thank you letter within twenty-four hours of your interview. If you can’t manage this, write one within a week. Note that many people make decisions about who to hire after conducting just a day or two of interviews and writing a note sooner is usually better.
As you compose your thank you letter, remember all people who interviewed you. If you were interviewed by a committee, address the letter to each member of the committee. Get business cards during an interview as an easy way to remember names and their proper spelling, or quickly write names down on an unobtrusive note pad. If you can’t remember, call a company secretary and ask; and don’t worry because they’re often used to getting these calls.
Keep your letter short and to the point. Thank the interviewer for taking time to meet with you, and address one or two comments made during the interview. Consider something like: “I was especially glad to hear Bob mention the importance of teams, and I’m looking forward to participating in and organizing teams.” The thank you letter also gives you a chance to add any details you forgot during the interview. Example: “We didn’t get to discuss my role in organizing charitable funds, but I know that this experience would fit well with the company-wide program on charitable giving.”
Another thing that you’ll want to include in a thank you letter is continued interest in the job. You want to make sure the company knows the interview only increased your interest and made you more excited about working there. There are some instances when an interview convinces you not to take a job. If that’s the case, you can thank the company or interviewers for taking the time to see you, and let them know that upon reflection you’ve decided to take a job elsewhere. You don’t have to specify where, in case you really don’t have another job offer.
Remember that the thank you note after job interviews is your last opportunity to present yourself. Since you’re not there in person, you have to allow your writing to show how exceptionally talented you are. Make sure your note is edited carefully and free of all grammatical errors and misspellings. If you have trouble in these areas, have a friend that’s a good writer reread your note and help you make changes.