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Thank You Letters

Writing Thank You Letters

Writing a thank you letter, or note, after an employment interview is a must. In fact, some employers think less of those interviewees who fail to follow-up promptly. Plan to send out your thank you letters as soon as possible (preferably within twenty-four hours, no later than a week) after your interview.

Like any piece of writing, it is best to keep your audience in mind. Address their issues and concerns. In general, typed thank you letters are recommended. Consider the "personality" of the organization and the rapport you felt during your interviews. If your interview was a fairly informal process and/or you achieved an immediate rapport with your interviewer, a handwritten note might be fine.

In addition to thanking the person you talked with, the thank you letter reinforces the fact that you want the job.

Note: Even if you do not want the job, write a thank you note respectfully withdrawing your application, because you never know what the future holds so why burn your bridges?

You may also view the thank you as a follow-up "sales" letter. In other words, you can restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on. This thank you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask or that you neglected to answer as thoroughly, or as well, as you would have liked.

What if you spent an entire day being interviewed (and taken to lunch) with several people? Are individual notes appropriate or should you write a "group" letter? Choose your approach based on what you think will be most in keeping with the "personality" of the organization. Also, consider whether the interviews had very much in common with one another. If there was a great deal of similarity (i.e., shared concerns mutually voiced by your interviewers), perhaps a "group" letter will suffice. My preference though, would be to take the extra time and send an individual thank you letter to everyone you met with.

Lunch or Dinner Interviews
When dining and interviewing be sure to thank everyone you spend time with, both for lunch and for taking the time to discuss the position and the company with you.

What if you suffer from writer’s block? Time takes precedence - get a simple, appreciative thank you note in the mail or send a thank you by email without delay; save your creative efforts for another time.

Remember to proofread: check spelling, grammar, typos, etc. If in doubt about the correct names, spellings or titles of your interviewers, call the office to double-check. Your efforts will be worth it!

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