You just had a job interview. Congratulations! Your job search is on good footing. Maybe you have a few more scheduled for this week, and one next week. Soon, you’ll have your dream job. In the meantime, there is still work to be done. Whether the job you interviewed for was a perfect match or not, extending this professional courtesy will be appreciated, and might pay off later. This post is all about writing and sending thank you letters for job interviews.
The following topics are covered:
- Keep Your Interview Thank You Letter Simple
- The Medium Supports the Message
- Personalize Each Letter
Keep Your Interview Thank You Letter Simple
Keep it short. You want to express your thanks for the opportunity to learn more about the position, but remember: brevity is the soul of wit. For this reason, write a few drafts of your interview thank you letter. Write out everything you want to say, then cut every unnecessary word. Then, cut the unnecessary sentences.
Your final draft should be an efficient four paragraphs long, each 3-5 sentences long. Please note that this a general guideline, not a strict rule. Nonetheless, keep your letter to a page, including your signature.
A few style tips:
- Readability: stick to simple sentences. Long-winded compound sentences might lose your reader.
- Vocabulary: don’t over-extend your vocabulary. Only use words you use on a regular basis. Do use industry-specific jargon where appropriate – knowledge counts!
- Font: a simple serif or sans-serif font is perfect. Calibri, Helvetica, or Arial should be perfect. If your industry tends towards a specific typography, follow those guidelines.
The Medium Supports the Message
Email is a great, efficient way to deliver your interview thank you letter. However, your interviewer might overlook your email in lieu of other more pressing matters of business. Ultimately, sending a physical letter will attract attention and is more likely to be read and appreciated.
A typed interview thank you letter shows professionalism and is especially good for larger and more formal companies. Since you’re trying to land a job, go with a typed letter. Typing also gives you the chance to double check spellings, revise your message, and add flourishes like bullet points. You might also select a heavier paper for this letter. A little touch like that will help you stand out. However, a hand-written note can feel more personal and is a great option for smaller or more casual companies.
Make sure that you write your letter as soon as you can. The sooner you write your letter, the fresher the interview will be in your mind. You also need to have it in the mail within 24 hours of the interview. When your letter arrives in a timely manner you will reinforce your professionalism and interest in the job. You can even prep a handwritten card and envelope to fill out in your car after the interview and drop in the mail on your way home.
Personalize Each Letter
If you interviewed with multiple people, make sure that you send each a personal interview thank you letter. Make sure that each letter is unique and doesn’t read like a boilerplate letter you grabbed from the internet. You really don’t want the recipients to compare notes to see that you did a copy/paste job.
If you are writing numerous thank you letters, it may be difficult to keep them fresh. However, if you focus clearly on the person to whom you are writing, chances are your sincerity will shine through. Envision them alone in a room and focus on the questions they asked. In your letter, refresh their memories of those exchanges as though they were the only person you met that day.
Professional writers often take a brisk walk to help their writing process. If you have multiple letters to write, use this technique to keep your writing fresh. Walk around the block or try something else to clear your mind. When you return to your letters, your perspective will be renewed. Try to remember and reference something specific you talked about with the interviewer that would make you stand out.
Call Us Today
Rush Recruiting & HR is Portland’s solution for staffing and human resources. We specialize in career coaching. We can help you hone your interview thank you letter. Give us a call today at (503) 481-1285 or contact us through our website.