So, you submitted the well-polished cover letter and resume, breezed through the phone interview, and nailed the in-person chat with your potential boss. Now you get to sit by the phone like it's two days before the big dance and you're waiting for that dreamy football player to call and ask you out: "Will he call? I'm sure he'll call! What if he doesn't call?" The one thing that may help you land the hunky footballer, I mean, the dream job, is sending a brief, professional post-interview thank you letter. Think of it as that one last impression that might help you stand out and be remembered amongst all those other bright individuals.
We all know how to write a thank you letter; it's something we probably learned in grade school. The key is to take that same structure - which will be laid out in a moment - and create a professional, yet concise letter.
Your thank you letter can be hand-written to show that you took some time with it rather than used the mail merge or copy and paste function on your PC. For the same reason, it is especially nice if the letter is written on high-quality stationery.
This short document should reiterate your desire to work with the company, and your thanks for having the opportunity to meet with the person who interviewed you. Here are the basic steps:
- At the top left-hand corner of the page, write or type your name, followed by your phone number and/or your email address, the date you are writing the letter, the person to whom you are addressing the letter (or the department), and what the letter is regarding. It should look something like this:
Your Phone Number/Email Address
TO: The Person or Department You Met With
RE: Recent Interview, or Interview on mm/dd/yy
- Leaving one space below the "Regarding" line, address the letter to a specific person. Of course this means a Mr. or Ms. and then the person's last name. If, for some reason, you didn't get the person's name, the letter should be addressed to a Sir or a Madame and followed by a colon, like this:
Dear Mr. Parsons:
- After the introduction comes the creative part - the body of the letter. In the first sentence, you should offer a note of thanks to the person who met with you for taking the time to do so, or a quick thanks for being allowed the opportunity to speak with them in person. Next, add a couple of sentences which feature something interesting that you learned about the company or a reason you feel you will excel within the company. You should also reiterate your reasons for wanting the job and/or your best qualifications or unique ability for the position. Finally, issue another thank-you and a note of further contact, something like, "Thank you again for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you soon."
- This is the easy part: all that is left is a closing and your name, which should be placed one space below the last line of the body of the letter. If you are typing the letter to be printed out and mailed, you should leave about three or four spaces between 'Sincerely' and your printed name, in order to sign your name by hand in the space. If the letter is hand-written or will be emailed instead, you may leave one or two spaces. The closing will look like this:
Here is a sample thank you letter template that can be used as a reference when composing your own:
TO: Ms. Loretta Jones
RE: Recent Interview
Dear Ms. Jones:
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me on Tuesday. It was a pleasure to sit down and discuss my future with your company. I was very impressed to learn that your reader base has grown by 6% already this year, and I'm excited for the possibility to help your magazine continue to grow even more in the future. I feel that my experience with distribution and marketing would be an excellent addition to More Magazines, Inc., and I look forward to talking with you again soon! Thank you for your consideration.
That's all there is to it. Keeping the thank you letters simple, creative, and professional will separate you from the rest of the pack. The follow-up letter may not seem that important, but it reminds your potential employer that you are serious about the position and may help you to stand out from the crowd if few or no other applicants take an easy five minutes to make this long-lasting impression.