If you recently had an interview for a job opening, you should follow up with a thank you letter after interview. It’s an important courtesy, but unfortunately one that isn’t as common as it once was. In fact, employers report that only ten percent or so of all interviewees take the time to send a thank you letter after interview. However, those same employers report that it’s often a deciding factor if the decision is close as to who will be offered the position.
When to Send an Interview Thank You Letter
You should send this important letter within 24 hours of your interview. If much of the interaction between you and the interviewer has been through email, it’s quite appropriate to send an email thank you. However, make sure it’s the correct email address and that you use the subject line. For example, you could put “Customer Service Interview – Thank You.” This will help ensure that your letter is read and not disregarded as spam.
If you are mailing or dropping off your thank you letter after interview, do so as soon as possible after your interview. Most companies today fill their open positions quickly. You certainly don’t want the company getting your letter after they have already made their decision.
What to Say in the Interview Thank You Letter
You should begin by thanking the interviewer for their time and mention a thing or two that you like about the company. This letter should also highlight your most important skills or qualifications that are best suited for the open position. You don’t want a letter that is as long as your cover letter and you don’t want to simply rehash your resume. You should keep this letter short and to the point.
End your thank you letter after interview by expressing your continued interest in the position. After the complimentary closing and your name, include your phone number. If you are mailing or dropping off your letter, print it out on a good quality resume paper. Don’t handwrite the envelope, but print it out so it looks professional.
Proofread the letter and the envelope carefully. Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. If possible, have someone else check over it, too. It is often easy to miss errors in something that you have written. An error in this short letter can often be devastating to your employment prospects with the company.
A Few Final Thoughts
A thank you letter after interview may seem somewhat outdated with all of the electronic options available today, such as email and texts. However, it’s an important part of the job interview process. Not only is it polite, it provides the employer with another visual image to relate to your resume. If the interview went well, this letter could actually be part of the deciding factor that gets you the job offer. It would be really awful to find out that another applicant received that job offer because he or she took the time to write this quick letter.