Job Interview Thank You Letters
Oh those Job interview thank you letters! For most people, job hunting can be overwhelming. After the long job search, looking for resume and cover letter samples, preparing for questions, going through job descriptions, writing a resume, a cover letter, and going through a stressful interview - you have to write a follow up letter?
I am SO tired, and that won't change a thing! So what most people do? They either omit to follow up altogether, or they go online, Google "Job Interview Thank You Letters" and BAAAM!!- dozens of samples to copy word for word from to write that perfect letter!
Guess what? MOST people do that! Once, when I worked at York University, we were interviewing students for summer on-campus positions. We had 3-5 interviews a day, for around 2 weeks.
Practically all students sent us job interview thank you letters. Almost every letter looked almost exactly the same! "I hope that my skills and qualifications in blah blah are a perfect match for this position", "I understand your need for blah blah," "My background in blah blah will help me to blah blah in this position", well, you get the idea. Think we bothered reading their letters?
So should you write job interview thank you letters at all? The answer is - yes, but keep it short, sweet and to the point. Make it original, YOUR own. Make it different from the sample letters scattered around the Internet.
I am not saying that the popular models of writing a thank you letter are wrong. The intention is really good: they all recommend to sum up your qualifications, to remind about your achievements and to express your interest. There is really only ONE problem about sample follow up letters scattered all over the internet - they are all standard and look exactly the same.
So why not to get your letter noticed? Make it different! But how can you stand out from the crowd and impress the employer?
When you write, try to think as an employer. What could he or she be WILLING to read? How confident you feel that you are perfect for the job? WRONG! Every other job candidate will express his or her confidence!
Your interviewer already made an opinion about you during the interview. What she really wants to hear is how you value her time, and probably a compliment to herself!
After all, interviewing is stressful for the employer too - she needs to find a perfect candidate, make the right decision, and she KNOWS that you will send a standard job interview thank you letter listing your qualifications and confidence all over again!
Remember, that if your interview is not a human resources professional, she might have spent a lot of time preparing to interview YOU! She prepared all these questions, maybe even practiced in front of a mirror or with her friends to make a good impression on YOU!
I have been interviewed by both head hunters and managers who needed an employee - and you can tell that this is stressful for regular managers. Some of them read their questions from a list, which meant that they really prepared. A few of them actually asked these questions or a variation of them - "what would you like your employer to be like?" and "what qualities are you looking for in an employer?". Clearly, they would like to make a good impression, too, and you should address their interviewing skills in your letter.
What a breath of fresh air a short, non-standard thank you note would be!
How to write non-standard job interview thank you letters:
- Keep is short. 1 paragraph, NOT 1 page.
- Watch your vocabulary - write as you normally speak, do not use sentences like "I embrace the opportunity" or "I will contribute positively to your company"
- Thank her for the time she took to interview you and for considering your candidacy. As you are writing your letter, she is probably still considering you.
- Have a little fun - tell her that you liked her interviewing style (if you actually did) and that you think it would be awesome to work with her.
- To have a little more fun, tell her that no matter if she hires you or someone else, you wish her to make the best hiring decision. Do not forget, however, to express your enthusiasm for the position in your own words - she might think that you are not interested, after all.
If you feel that this position is not the right match for you - write a job interview thank you letter anyway, but mention that you think you are not a good match for the position. Most likely, the interviewer felt it too, but if she remembers you as someone honest, (and someone who appreciated her interviewing skills!), she might recommend you to another position in the same company that would be a better match for you.
If you want to improve your interviewing skills, I recommend you the The Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Answers. It will teach you how to be confident; how to easily calm your nerves or fear; how to get the interviewer to like you by telling them EXACTLY what they want to hear!
Best of luck with writing your own, original thank you letters!