Thank you very Much!
October 23, 2000
Learn how to write thank you notes that will get you noticed
Did you have a fantastic interview? Don't blow it now. A thank you note keeps you competitive. Here's how to write an effective thank you note that will help you become the interviewer's number one pick.
When the other applicants send a thank you note but you don't, you risk losing the job because you didn't close the sale. Much obliged, thank goodness, heaven be praised, thanks a lot: any thank you is appreciated. It can be a very powerful follow-up to any interview. But first, read these dos and don'ts in order to give yourself the edge in winning that dream job.
Handwritten notes are not only acceptable, they have the added benefit of portraying your warm, personal side. But be sure to hand write a note only when your handwriting is legible and the message is short. Otherwise it's best to use a word processor to type a professional looking letter that can be read with ease. Use plain and yet attractive, quality stationary. You mean business, so show it.
Address the letter appropriately. "Dear Sir(s)" or "Dear Sir and Madam" just doesn't cut it. And think twice before using the old standby "To whom it may concern," either. This greeting is so impersonal that it is an automatic turn-off. After all, you have already spent time sharing yourself and getting to know your interviewers and their company.
It's good practice to ask for everyone's business cards before exiting the interview. This way you can correctly spell their names and won’t have to guess where to send the thank you notes. But if you do forget, or if the interviewer just doesn't have a card handy, call the receptionist and ask nicely (or beg) for the information.
Be upbeat and enthusiastic in your writing. A positive attitude goes a long way toward getting that beloved offer letter. But don't overdo it and act like you’re vying for head cheerleader on the high school pep squad either.
Put some sell into it. Compliment the company, yet let it be known – subtly, that you have a lot going for you, too.
Don't forget the date! If there are a lot of applicants, it may help interviewers to better place your name if your thank you note is dated – and mentions when the interview took place.
Will they remember you better if a picture is enclosed? No matter how professional you look in that picture, unless you are applying for a modeling position, skip the photo. Otherwise, they will remember you all right - as being somewhat egotistical. Let them form their own mental picture of you. Period.
Me, me me If there are 20 or more "Is" in your thank you letter, think about revising it. Marketing yourself should be about what you can do for the company. Word your sentences to reiterate the reasons they most definitely need "you."
Font size does matter. If the character size is too small, the letter may get tossed. This is especially true if the recipient forgot his glasses that day. Go with a regular font size or even a point or two higher.
Is it too long? One well-known marketing hint is to write short sentences. Seven or eight words is known to work well in keeping the readers attention. And paragraphs are best kept at four or five lines.
You may feel sincere but don't write it. An extremely overused ending to many business letters is the well-known "Sincerely" or "Sincerely yours." How about standing out in the crowd with a heartfelt "Good wishes" or a "With great enthusiasm?" Works for me!
Sign off on it. Include your handwritten signature in closing, even if you have typewritten your name. Once again, it's the personal touch that counts.
Do you need a reminder to spell check, grammar check, and manually proofread? I didn't think so.
See it to believe it
Here is an example of a multi-purpose thank you note. It can be tailored to any situation by changing the basic facts. Try adding specific references to your interview and your special talents in order to improve and personalize this letter.
October XX, 2000
Dear Ms. Interviewer,
Thank you for interviewing me today at U.R. The Best Software. I was very impressed with the company and the type of software the corporation provides.
I am excited about the head programmer position and the chance to work with such a great team. Your comments gave me a good understanding of the business and your expectations for the programmer you seek. I believe I am a strong candidate due to my extensive education and work experience. As you may recall, I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and four years of experience as a C++ programmer. This background will allow me to meet the high standards of your corporation.
I look forward to talking further.
Ima C. Programmer
Thanking and appreciating someone for the time and trouble they spent interviewing you is well worth the effort. Searching for a job is a personal marketing and public relations campaign anyway. It's to your advantage for people to like you so they will want to hire or refer you to their colleagues. And your like-ability index will grow when written appreciation is expressed in a professional manner.
By the way, thank you for reading!
CareerMosaic: Resume writing center
The damn good resume guide to thank you letters
Boston College Career Center: Thank you letters