Writing Thank You Letters after an Interview

By Tom Byrne

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One of the most crucial times in the interview process, is the time after the initial interview. It is the period when you can be forgotten or just blend in with the crowd. The "Thank you" letter is a very good tool to make sure that you are remembered in a positive light. They are not just a formality; they act as marketing tools that can have tremendous value in moving your candidacy forward and positioning you above the competition. Although much of what you include in your thank-you letter may have already been communicated during your interview, there is nothing more effective than the written word to etch those thoughts into your interviewer's mind.

Overcome Objections
During an interview if there were any objections raised as to your candidacy, use your thank-you letter to respond to and overcome those concerns. Demonstrate the concerns are not an obstacle but an opportunity, and you're fully prepared to meet the challenge.

Reiterate Your Expertise
If the company communicated its specific needs, issues or challenges, use your thank-you letter to demonstrate how you can meet those needs.

Highlight Your Core Professional Competencies and Successes
If the company communicated its ideal qualifications for a candidate, use your thank-you letter to outline how you meet or exceed each qualification.

How long should your thank-you letter be? You can take the risk of boring your potential employer to tears or just re-emphasizing your relevant experience directly related to the position. Of course, as with anything else in a job search, there is no definitive answer. We recommend the "short and sweet" versions and have seen that they pack more punch than something that is so long it makes its way to the trash instead of the inbox. Remind yourself that you already have the company's interest or you wouldn't have been interviewing. Use your thank-you letter as a tool to communicate your interest, not re-write your resume.

Make sure you have the correct spelling of the recipient’s name along with their company title. If sending via email, be sure to verify their email address as well. It’s very important to spell check your letter before sending it out. Failure to do so shows a lack of attention to detail. If you are working with a 3rd party recruiter have them proof your letter to get another opinion. When you have double-checked the spelling and grammar and are satisfied with the letter mail it out as soon as possible. Don’t delay.

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