Sunday, September 29, 2013

Template for a Thank You Letter Following an Interview

Thanks for the interview!
Follow-up every interview with a thank you letter.  Send thank you's following initial phone screens, first-level phone interviews, video interviews, and in-person interviews.  No exceptions!    

Your thank you letter is not a dissertation.  What it is is one last opportunity to state  --  and sell  --  your capabilities and qualifications in order to show why you should move to the next step in the interview process (in the early stages of the interview process), or the reason why you should get the job (in the final stages).

Your letter should be fairly short, rarely over one page.  Generally, use a more formal format in letters following up interviews.  Use your letter to succinctly but convincingly illustrate your value.

Follow these steps to an effective Thank You letter:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  
Step 1:  Brand it
Full name (as it appears on business card)                                         e-mail address
Profession -  use generic title                                                                   Phone
Physical address:  optional                                                                       Linked In Address
Website address: optional
Note:  This is your Brand; use the same header as it appears on your resume.

Step 2:  List date of writing, and name and content of the recipient
Name (first, middle initial if known, last (check and double check spelling)
Company name (check and double check spelling)
City, State, Zip

Recipient's e-mail address and phone - optional

Step 3:  Include a salutation
Dear Mr. Jones, or Dear Ms. Smith:  (This is the salutation.)

Step 4:  Paragraph 1. Thank the recipient of the letter
Start off by thanking the interviewer, and being specific about what you are thanking them for.  Phrases such as "I appreciated the opportunity to have interviewed . . . ." or "Thank you for the interview" are appropriate beginnings.  State the date of the interview and title of the position you interviewed for.  Recall a memorable moment or item discussed, personalizing each letter with something special that occurred during the interview.

Step 5:  Paragraph 2-3.  Sell yourself in 1-2 paragraphs (3 max)
Use this paragraph to remind the interviewer of just how well you meet, or even exceed, the requirements of the position.  In other words, SELL!  Discuss the job's requirements, focusing on those you discussed with this person that you learned are high priority.  Remind the interviewer of just how well you meet them.  Be specific.

For each requirement you list, recall from your discussion (or take this as an opportunity to reveal a new accomplishment/selling point) a specific example of you having performed that type of work, with results.

You can do this in paragraph form, or use a list to state requirements and your accomplishments.  Either way, state that you meet the requirements, noting that you are experienced in performing the work and have accomplishments to prove it.  Then discuss, or list, your accomplishments (work + results).  Introduce your list of accomplishments/qualifications as illustrated below by stating:

"You noted that ___________ would be a primary focus for the new program manager.  I have extensive experience doing _____________, as illustrated by:
      ●    Example/Accomplishment  (Note:  State requirement + action you took and outcome
      ●    Example/Accomplishment
      ●    Example/Accomplishment          

Step 6:  Paragraph 4:  Close the sale. 
Conclude that as you provided benefit and value for previous employers, you know can do the same for this employer.  State that you would like the opportunity to join this employer/ become a member of the team or this division.  Note that you await their decision*, but will also follow-up (state the date).

 Step 7:  Sign off formally
Sincerely yours,  Sincerely, or Best regards

written signature

Full name typed*

 Step 8:  Sign off formally
Enclosure:  Resume, Reference List
ENC:  Resume, Bio, Work sample 

Option:  Include your contact information: phone number and e-mail address underneath your typed name or in the concluding paragraph.

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website, including: "Thank You Letters - Why Send Them and to Whom?" Sept 5, 2013. ____________________________________________________________________________                 AJC - for Your Career Path
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