Courtesy of www.worktree.com

It is proper business etiquette to send thank you letters, but many people overlook this matter of courtesy. A thank you letter can make you stand out from the other candidates competing for jobs, and in this tight job market, it is wise to consider every tool that will give you an advantage.

To be effective, a thank you note should be sent before the hiring decision has been made, so it is best to mail it as soon as possible after the interview. When you send a thank you letter, you give the interviewer a chance to remember you (imagine having interviewed 10-15 candidates for a position, and then trying to distinguish each one after the interviews and trying to remember the specifics about each person). It is your opportunity to mention any important information you forgot to discuss during the interview.

A thank you letter allows you to explain, restate, or clear up any potential misunderstandings. In addition, you can redirect your marketing campaign by focusing on something that you learned during the interview and re-emphasizing your strengths, accomplishments and skills. Sending a thank you letter shows the interviewer that you are a professional who is concerned about details. In the end, the thank you letter is your last chance to leave a good impression!

There are several situations that require a thank you letter:
• After an employment interview.
• When someone provides you with job search assistance such as referring you to an employer, providing a network contact, or speaking on your behalf to a prospective employer.
• After an informational interview, company visit, or other career exploration activity.

Try to follow these hints when writing thank you letters:
• Keep your letters short and simple - usually one page is enough.
• Help the interviewer remember you by referring to specific points discussed in your interview: show that you were listening and mention something that will refresh the interviewer's memory of you.
• Be sure your letters are professional, for example: typed, no errors, on quality paper, etc.
• Send your letter within one day - do not put it off!
• Emphasize your qualifications, especially those that are most relevant to the position.
• Provide any information that was overlooked during the interview or that which was specifically requested by the interviewer.
• Express your continued interest and enthusiasm for the position.
• Remember, very few people bother to send thank you letters - this can be your edge!

Generally, your thank you letters should include the following information:

First paragraph:
Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you (mention the date). Remind him/her of the position for which you interviewed.

Second paragraph:
Restate your interest in the position and the company/school/organization. Mention something you learned from the interview or comment on something of importance that you discussed. Again, emphasize your strengths, experiences, skills, accomplishments and slant them towards the points that the interviewer considered the most important for the position.

Third paragraph:
Once again, thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration. If appropriate, close with a suggestion for further action (if a second interview is a possibility), or mention that you will follow up with a phone call in a few days. Provide your phone number and the hours you can best be reached.

(Modified Block Format)

Albany, NY 12200
October 8, 1996

Ms. Janet Jones
Director of Research and Development
ACME Computer Company
1234 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12204

Dear Ms. Jones:

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for interviewing me for the position of Senior Programmer in your Research and Development department. I enjoyed meeting with you and I learned a great deal about the ACME Computer Company.

This position sounds very interesting and I am confident that my education and experience have provided me with the qualifications necessary to work effectively with your team. I am especially pleased to know that you use the Quadrini programming language, since I completed two courses in it and I have used it extensively during my internship at General Electric.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to interview for a position with your company. I am excited about the prospect of working with such a dedicated team of professionals. If you request any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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