Thank You Note Writing 101

In my previous post I went through some interview mistakes that happen all too often. My last point was about how you should always send a thank you note. Following up, I want to use this blog post to explain how best to compose an effective thank you letter and ensure that it just the right touch to help set you apart.

Thank you letters can be crucial. Depending on the situation, they can even make or break your chances of getting the job. This is why it’s so ridiculous to me that people don’t send them — it takes 5 minutes out of your day and could be vital to your job search.

Here are some tips outlining what an effective thank you letter should look like:

  • Not too short: Make sure you hit all the important factors. Don’t rush through it – it should be a well-thought-out letter.
  • Not too long: Don’t ramble. The hiring manager does not want to hear your life story in a letter — they want to know why you think you should be hired. The letter should be no longer than a few paragraphs.
  • Thank them: After all, it is a thank you letter. Be sure to show that you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you and that you know their time is valuable. This should be the opening line to your letter.
  • Reiterate important points from the interview: Show that you were listening and that you remember what you spoke about. Say something like:
    • “After hearing more about the use of SCRUM in your everyday work, I am excited to learn more about SCRUM Methods and how they can improve productivity.”
  • Touch upon any possible roadblocks: If they brought up any skills that you are lacking for the position, mention them and own up to them. Don’t try to avoid them but also be careful not to harp too much on negatives
    • “I realize that you are working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM while my previous experience has been working with SalesForce.com. I understand the differences, and that there will be a learning curve, but I am confident in my ability to ramp up quickly.”
  • Review your qualifications and what makes you a fit for the position: Make sure you remind them why you are a fit for the role. Go over your relative knowledge and experience.
  • Offer up additional information: At the close of your letter — after thanking them again — be sure to put all your contact information and tell them to reach out should they need any additional information.

Lastly, if you met with multiple people, the best thing to do is to write a separate note to each one. Use the same template but tailor each letter to the specific conversation you had with that person. This is a little extra touch that could go a long way.

Writing a thank you note is a simple activity that can have a strong impact. Get in the habit of doing it after each and every in-person interview, and even following some phone interviews, if applicable.

** Note – Do not send thank you letters in the mail. While the thought is nice, in this day and age, the decision will most likely be made before the letter gets there. Always send by email.

 

 

 

Meghan Maher
Meghan Maher
Senior Talent Manager, Engineering

Meghan Maher is Senior Talent Manager, Engineering, actively recruiting top talent for OpenView and its Portfolio Companies. Her tech background has helped OpenView hire for nearly 20 IT and engineering positions. Meghan began her career at AVID Technical Resources, where she was a Technical Recruiter for two years.
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