Friday, January 11, 2013

An Interview Thank You Letter: 7 Tips To Making a Lasting Impression

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Sending a Thank You Letter following an interview is an absolute necessity. It demonstrates appreciation for the interview and the courtesy of taking the time to say so. But what should you put in a Thank You Letter that will make the biggest impression?

Believe it or not, most of what you will hear as to what to put in your thank you letter is misleading and possibly poor advice. Much of what you will hear will be along the lines of emphasizing your qualities again and how you think you will be an asset to their business.

But consider this: Do you think an interviewer has seen all that before? They have, and it will be greeted with a yawn.

The most important aspect of a thank you letter is the fact that you sent one at all; since maybe only 10% of interviewees ever bother.
The interviewer will sort their most promising prospects after the interviews for further consideration. Although they will not have made a decision yet, they have your interview and they have your resume so they know darn well who their top prospects are. To then reiterate your qualities in a letter is over-kill to say the least.

Everything that needed to be said, should have been said in your cover letter, in your resume and in the interview. To try to put points across again in a thank you letter, will not be well received by the interviewer.
An interviewer has a concept of what they are looking for before the hiring process begins. If you come even close to their concept, you will more than likely be given further consideration anyway. Sending a Thank You Letter will make you look even better among the pack.

So, keep these points in mind when writing your thank you for the interview letter.
1. It's a Thank You Letter not a Business Letter.

2. Keep it short and personal. By the way, it doesn't even have to be a letter. A hand-written Thank You Card can deliver a huge impression. In fact, statistics show that a person is 80% more likely to open a card than a standard envelope.

3. Simply thank them for the opportunity to have interviewed with them. If you truly did enjoy meeting them and there is one particular reason why, then mention it. If the interviewer said something about their personal life, like their child was home from school with a cold, then mention that you hope their child is feeling better.

4. If you truly feel it, let them know that you would really like to be part of their team.

5. Only write what you can honestly be sincere about. Remember: It's a Thank You Letter,not a Business Letter. How would you normally write a Thank You Letter or note to somebody? Pattern it after that. Just because it concerns your employment doesn't mean it has to be stiff and formal.

6. Do Not send a follow-up email after your interview. Generally speaking, an email does not convey professionalism. You will definitely gain points for sending a "Thank You" at all, but it won't be nearly as effective as a letter or card.

7. Always send your Thank You Letter within 24 hours following your interview.
Follow these 7 points and you will leave a big impression on your interviewer. And if at all possible, make your thank you letter a hand-written card about the same size as a typical Birthday card.


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