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Sharp Decision’s Thank-You Letter Tips (You’re Welcome)

Working in the recruiting business, one quickly learns that each seemingly small detail can make a significant impact on an employer. Employers are bombarded by an influx of resumes, so they can afford to be picky.

When the hiring manager has pared his/her favorites down to two or three candidates, a simple thank you letter could be the factor that pushes one candidate ahead of the rest.

Company culture and personalities of interviewers vary from one organization to the next, so I can’t offer an archetypal thank-you letter guaranteed to woo any hiring manager. However, I can provide a few suggestions.

Managers differ in opinion when it comes to paper versus electronic. Usually, an e-mail is best. E-mails arrive sooner, and most professionals receive company e-mail to their cellular devices. However, if the organization is “old-fashioned,” consider a mailed letter. Never fax a thank you letter. However you choose to send it, send within forty-eight hours of the interview.

When writing a traditional letter, never write it by hand. Unless you have breathtaking penmanship, type the document in a standard, legible font.

Avoid patterned or colored stationary. Elle Woods, in Legally Blonde, may have charmed the admissions committee with pink scented paper, but trust us, you won’t. If tempted to throw a ream of the pink abomination in your basket next time you’re in Staples, don’t. In fact, don’t even glance in its direction. Grab the white—or cream—paper, and walk away. Remember, simple is professional and easy to read.

Whether choosing traditional or electronic post, the content of the letter should be the same.

The standard post-interview thank-you letter has three sections: thanking the interviewer, reminding him/her of your strengths, and showing your eagerness to initiate the next step.

1)    Thanking the Interviewer:

As you are writing a thank-you letter, the thank-you section is most important. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and interest in you. Mention the aspects of the interview, the organization, and the position you like. Be specific.

2)    Reiterating Your Strengths:

Remind the interviewer of key qualities that make you well-suited to this position. Address any reason for hesitation the manager may have had in hiring you, and briefly state any pertinent aspects of your background you were unable to discuss in the interview. Finally, demonstrate your potential value to the company by offering suggestions to business shortcomings the hiring manager raised during in your discussion. But, remember, this is a thank you letterBe concise, and do not overpraise yourself.

3)    Taking the Next Step:

Express your enthusiasm for moving forward in the hiring process, and share your excitement about the prospect of working at the company.

Your salutation should be formal, unless the interviewer specifically requests that you call him/her by his/her first name. Likewise, the closing should be professional. “Regards,” “Sincerely,” or “Thank you” are sensible.

Sharp Decisions wants to see you succeed. Our recruiters work directly with the hiring manager and receive specific feedback on the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. We communicate those with our candidates, so they can accurately address the hiring manager’s concerns. The job market is a cold, hard world—don’t navigate it alone. Let us guide you through each step of the hiring process from editing the resume to sending that post-interview thank-you letter.

Check out the many open positions posted on our “Careers” page. Please visit www.sharpdecisions.com/careers/to find one that interests you.

As always, we want to hear from you! Send any questions or comments you have tohbruner@sharpdecisions.com. We look forward to hearing from you.