The DOs and DON’Ts of Thank You Letters
Writing a thank you email to an employer, after an interview, is an important part of the hiring process. The thank you letter/email provides you with an opportunity to reiterate your interest for the position and express your appreciation. It is also a great way for the applicant to share any additional information or questions related to the position.
Here are some dos and don’ts for writing a successful follow-up email or letter.
Send your email within 24 hours after the initial meeting
You should generally send it within the first 24 hours after meeting with the employer. Not sending a follow up or providing a long overdue message may give the wrong impression to the employer that perhaps they aren’t high on your priorities.
Start off with an introduction and reminder
Employers generally interview countless applicants for a position, and may not remember who you are. Don’t take it personally, and give a brief summary of who you are and point out to a key moment in the interview from which they’ll recognize you.
Express your appreciation and reaffirm your interests
Thank the interviewer for their time and for getting to know them and the team. Reinforce your points of how you were impressed with them, what you can bring to the table/their organization, and that the interview itself was informative.
The interview is a two-way street, so show them what you learned
The interviewers almost always expect the applicant to have questions about the organization or the position they’re applying for. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions that you would like to follow up on. If you don’t have questions, thank them anyway and explain how the interview helped clarify the expectation of the role and the organization. By showing that you understand what they were offering is a strong sign that you are engaged in the interview process.
Ask for permission to connect on LinkedIn before connecting
Connecting on Linkedin is a great way to grow your network. Especially with recruiters and employers. However it is intrusive to send requests without their permission. Take advantage of the Follow Up Letter to ask employers if they would like to connect.
Active Voice Over Passive Voice
Although it is not technically wrong to write in a passive voice, it is frowned upon in an professional environment. An easy way to write in an active voice is to put your subject before the verb. (ie. Active – Ben cleaned the room. Passive – The room was cleaned by Ben)
Don’t Write too Much
Keep it simple. Writing a clear and concise Thank-You Letter guarantees that you are highlighting the most important attributes of the interview. Writing more than what is required may cause employers to skim through your email. Which may cause employers to miss important details. Any additional information or long letters can be included but only as an attachment. This will ensure that the email letter is short and sweet.
Don’t Be Too Informal
Be professional when addressing the interviewer. Avoid slang and abbreviations. Also, refrain from calling an employer by their first name, unless instructed otherwise.
Don’t get creative with the text, ie: fonts, color, or text size
Use commonly used fonts such as ‘Arial’ and ‘Times New Roman’ and use an appropriate font size. Impress them with your personality, your education and your work experience instead.
Don’t Give the Impression of Being Desperate
Understand your worth and approach a company with confidence and respect. Hiring a new employee benefits both the organization and the individual, so illustrate your skills and goals instead of begging for the job.
Don’t Copy and Paste Follow-Up Letters
Don’t use the same Follow Up Letter for every company. Each email should be specific for each respected company. Employers can easily spot vague Thank-You Letters and they perceive vague letters to be cheap and disrespectful. Put in the effort to personalize each email for every employer.
EXAMPLE – Interview
Thank you very much for taking the time from your busy schedule to discuss the responsibilities of the Digital Marketing position at Company ABC. As I mentioned during the interview, my long term goal is to become a Marketing Research Analyst and I am convinced that working at Company ABC will offer me the tools to enhance my skills in analytics and in persuasive writing. As you may remember, I have skills in several social media platforms, CRM and SQL and would be able to analyze customer traffic and behavior from your online platforms. I was also pleased by your interest in my idea of introducing video content to your brand.
Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information about my background or goals. I can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 718-555-1234.
First Name Last Name
EXAMPLE – Networking
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the opportunities at CompanyABC. I also want to thank you for sharing my resume with your network. As I mentioned during our conversation, I am passionate about the Culinary Industry and I aspire to sharpen my skills in data analytics and persuasive writing. I also appreciate the advice and guidance you offered me and I will begin to (work on something that they suggested). As you may remember, I have skills in social media platforms, CRM and SQL and will be able to analyze customer traffic and behavior from online platforms. I have also attached a copy of my resume in case you decide to send it to another person in your network.
Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information about my background or goals. If acceptable, I would also like to connect with you on LinkedIn. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-555-1234.
– Published by Talha Nadeem. Nadeem is a Communications Intern with the SCDC and a Staff Writer at the Ticker. He is majoring in English with a minor in Psychology. He is an avid book reader with his favorite genres including science fiction and detective noir. (February 6th, 2018)
– Edited by Harrison Anastasio. Marketing Assistant for SCDC