You planned and prepared for your job interview. You mastered the interview questions, dressed for success, and got to your interview early with time to relax and do some deep breathing. Now the interview is over and you are ready to go back to work, or if you are lucky, treat yourself to a cup of ice cream. You are finished!
Oops! Did you forget to follow up and send a thank you letter right away? How important is it to follow up after a job interview? Writing a powerful thank you letter is just as important as having a successful interview. You may not have written a thank you in the past, but with a competitive job market, it is more important than it ever has been. If you are applying for a job at a more advanced level, the competition is even greater, so it is important to do all that you can--all that you have control over to get the job. You did your research and found a job you want, now give the interviewers every opportunity to hire you. You are a great candidate. Make sure you show it. Don’t underestimate the value of the thank you. In the letter you can:
• Say something positive about the office, job, or interviewers
• Reiterate relevant skills or experience
• Say something you didn’t have a chance to say in the interview
• Stand out from the other interviewees
• Show you want the job
A thank you card may be effective for careers that favor creativity and a personal message, but with so little space, you miss the opportunity to say something new or emphasize something important. Whether you decide to send a short thank you note or a professional thank you letter, as long as you use good grammar and spelling, sending a timely thank you note may be what sets you apart from other equally competent candidates who don’t bother to send a thank you. If you think the interviewers might be making a decision quickly, email your letter and then send it by mail.
Stand out from the crowd and get in the habit of saying thank you. Before you even apply for a job, practice the habit of saying "Thank You" in person, letters, and cards. When you are in the habit of saying thank you in your daily life, you will not forget the critical step of writing a thank you letter after an interview.
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