Are You Sending a Follow Up Letter?
You might want to think twice before you decide NOT to send a follow-up, thank you letter. The follow-up, thank you letter can be more than a nice “thank you for the interview.” It could be what makes the difference between you or another candidate being selected.
Think of this letter as one more opportunity for you to put yourself in front of the interviewer and to remind him or her of what you have to offer – and why they should choose you as the best candidate for the job.
You are making a mistake if you are assuming that the interviewer remembers everything you said during the interview. If fact, if the interviewer conducted more than one or two interviews that day, you may have been forgotten or lumped with the other candidates. Your aim is to stand apart from the others – standing out for your uniqueness.
The follow up should remind the interviewer or interviewers what you can bring to the position. It should also demonstrate your interest in taking the process one step further. The tone of the letter should convey your enthusiasm for the position as well as your interest in joining the company.
The letter doesn’t have to be a long letter but the tone should be professional and succinct. Below is a format example to give you guidance in formatting your follow up.
Follow-Up Format Example
Dear Interviewer –
Start with the name of the interviewer —
A separate letter should be sent to each interviewer – if possible. That way you can address any concerns or interests that you picked up on.
Your reaction to the interview.
Let them know that you were very excited or at least interested in what went on in the interview.
“I left the interview with a million ideas going through my head regarding
your company and the challenges of the job.”
Why you want this job.
Tell them at least two or three good reasons why you want this job.
“After talking to you and the other team members, I was impressed with the
company’s view of future technology.”
“I have set my sites on working for your company because of the type of culture and mission you have. In particular, employees working as a cross-trained team.”
What you would bring to the company.
Restate your qualifications – The added value(s) you would bring to this position.
“I have the ability to solve problems using my past experience and analytical skills, particularly working within tight deadlines.
“I have several reasons to believe I am the solution to your problem”
(List the skills and experiences you have that will convince them that you are the best person for the position – especially accomplishments.)
Ask for the sale.
Do you want the job? Let the interviewer know,
“I am really excited about the prospect of joining your team and want to be considered as an interested candidate. I know that I would be an excellent fit for the job based on my past experience and what I can bring to the job, and my future goals.”
Ask for the sale – let them know you are ready to move forward.
“I look forward to moving forward regarding this opportunity.”
“Thanks again for the interview, I felt very comfortable talking with you and I was impressed with your handling of the interview process. I’m ready to move forward when you are.”
This format is an example to follow and if you do use this format, your format should be in your own style and words. While the letter should have a professional tone, it should not be stiff or overly formal. Your intent is to connect one more time with the interviewer. Use your “voice” to convey the message that you want this job and why you want it.
As to the question: “email or regular mail?” If you have been corresponding with the person at the company through email while coordinating the interview then that is probably the preferred communication.
If you feel strongly, and have been trained to write a hand-written note, that’s appropriate as well. Just make sure your handwriting is legible. This too should have a professional tone while not sounding stiff or formal.
There are arguments for and against using the follow up letter. Is it a waste of time? Will anyone read it? In the long run, what do you have to lose? There is always the chance that someone might read it – and just might be impressed. It has happened before. Worth a try!
The Interview Coach Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. Contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. http://www.interviewcoach.com Visit her blog at http://www.interviewcoach.com/blog to follow The Interview Coach on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to learn about current workshops and seminars Carole is offering.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes.
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