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The thank-you letter is the letter you should never forget to send if you want to ensure your employment candidacy is viewed in the most favorable possible light.
Sending thank-you letters makes both good manners and good job search sense; and “while resumes and cover letters get the attention, thank-you letters often gets the required results.” When used properly, thank-you letters can help you create a positive impression with employers. So here are three reasons why you should write a thank-you letters.
Far too often, job seekers overlook this basic courtesy in the swirl of activity that accompanies the job-hunting process. Yet, the favorable impression that is created by a well-written thank-you letter can speak volumes about the manners and character of the employment candidate.
When you consider the time, effort, and expense organizations commit when hosting an employment candidate on interview day, it is certainly deserving of a basic “thank you.” So, don’t overlook this courtesy if you are interested in making a favourable impression and enhancing interest in your employment candidacy.
It is important to realize that besides displaying your good manners, the “thank you” letter offers a great opportunity to further market yourself for the position. Although this should not be the principal reason for writing the letter, it is certainly an added benefit worth taking full advantage of.
A well-constructed thank-you letter can go a long way to communicate not only your level of interest in the position, but also to reinforce your strong qualifications for the job. Additionally, it presents an excellent opportunity to highlight the special value the hiring organization will realize from bringing you on board. I have seen more than one occasion where well-written thank-you letters were the single deciding factor when the contest was down to the last two desirable finalist candidates.
ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE THANK-YOU LETTER
Review of the sample thank-you letters contained in this post will reveal a clear pattern. There are certain elements required to make such letters effective. These are:
1. Basic greeting or salutation.
2. Expression of appreciation for interview.
3. Statement of interest in position.
4. Value statement.
5. Restatement of appreciation for interview.
Normally, these elements are incorporated into the letter’s construction in the order in which they appear here. The following thank-you letters, however, will illustrate some variations in how these elements may be used to your advantage.
When You Should Send Thank-You Letters—and Why
Thank-you letters have a more intimate and friendly social tradition than other formal business correspondence. That’s one reason they work so well—people respond to those who show good manners and say thank you. Here are some situations when you should use them, along with some sample letters.
1. BEFORE AN INTERVIEW
In some situations, you can send a less formal note before an interview, usually by e-mail (unless the interview is scheduled for a fairly distant future date). For example, you can simply thank someone for being willing to see you. Depending on the situation, enclosing a resume could be a bit inappropriate. Remember, this is supposed to be sincere thanks for help and not an assertive business situation. This also serves as a way to confirm the date and time of the scheduled interview and as a reminder to the recipient that you will be showing up at that time. Figure 14.1 shows a sample thank-you letter sent before an interview.
Sample Thank-You Letter Sent Before An Interview
April 5, 20XX Ms. Kijek,
Thanks so much for your willingness to see me next Wednesday at 9 a.m.
I know that I am one of many who are interested in working with your organization, but I’m confident that you’ll find my qualifications are a good fit for the role. I’ve enclosed a JIST Card that presents the basics of my skills for this job and will bring my resume to the interview.
I appreciate the opportunity to meet you and learn more about the position. Please call me if you have any questions at all.
(111) 555-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org
2. AFTER AN INTERVIEW
One of the best times to send a thank-you letter is right after an interview. Here are several reasons why:
• Doing so makes a positive impression. It shows the employer that you have good follow-up skills—as well as good manners.
• It creates yet another opportunity for you to remain in the employer’s consciousness at an important time.
• It gives you a chance to get in the last word. You get to include a reminder of why you’re the best candidate for the job and can address any concerns that might have come up during the interview.
• If they have buried, passed along, or lost your resume and previous correspondence, a thank-you letter and corresponding JIST Card provide one more chance for employers to find your number and call you.
For these reasons, I suggest you send a thank-you letter right after the interview and certainly within 24 hours.
August 11, 20XX
Dear Mr. O’Beel,
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position available in your production department. I want you to know that this is the sort of job I have been looking for and I am enthusiastic about the possibility of working for you.
Now that we have spoken, I know that I have both the experience and skills to fit nicely into your organization and to be productive quickly. The process improvements I implemented at Logistics, Inc., increased their productivity 34%, and I’m confident that I could do the same for you.
Thanks again for the interview; I enjoyed the visit. Sara Smith
3. WHENEVER ANYONE HELPS YOU IN YOUR JOB SEARCH
Send a thank-you letter to anyone who helps you during your job search. This includes those who give you referrals, people who provide advice, or simply those who are supportive during your search. I suggest you routinely enclose one or more JIST Cards in these letters because recipients can give them to others who may be in a better position to help you.
Sample Thank-You Letter Sent To Someone Who Helped In A Job Search.
October 31, 20XX
2234 Riverbed Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 17963
Ms. Helen A. Colcord
Henderson and Associates, Inc.
1801 Washington Blvd., Suite 1201
Philadelphia, PA 17963
Dear Ms. Colcord,
Thank you for sharing your time with me so generously yesterday. I really appreciated talking to you about your career field.
The information you shared with me increased my desire to work in such an area. Your advice has already proven helpful — I have an appointment to meet with Robert Hopper on Friday.
In case you think of someone else who might need a person like me, I’m enclosing another resume and JIST Card. Sincerely,