Resumes and cover letters aren’t the only documents that could have a positive influence in securing your next career move. Follow-up letters after your job interview are just as important. They can position you in the drivers seat!
As a Career Management Professional, I am constantly amazed at the number of people who don’t recognize the significance and potential impact in writing a follow-up or thank-you letter.
For the candidate, follow-up letters are an easy way to convey information that may require additional emphasis or was overlooked during the stressful interview and provides another excellent chance to make an impression. From the other side of the desk, it shows a potential employer that the candidate carries through. At the final decision time, I know it’s always noted which candidates have followed through and which ones have not.
At the end of the interview be sure to obtain a business card from everyone who interviews you. Do not be afraid to ask for one, it shows you are confident! Immediately after the interview, while everything is fresh in your mind note one thing you would like to make a further reference to on the back of each interviewers business card. This will be a great resource for you when you write your follow-up letter.
Your follow-up letter should be brief, precise and professional. Remember the KIS principle, Keep It Simple. The first paragraph should thank the interviewer for his or her time. The second paragraph is your opportunity to further sell yourself, confidently stating what an outstanding candidate you are and why. Paragraph three wraps it up with a final thank-you.
Always snail mail your letters. Use good quality white paper, no flowered notepaper or thank-you card, you need to show your professionalism. A follow-up letter must be timely, so don’t wait more than three days after the interview to send it, any longer could portray you as a procrastinator and you are probably not aware of when the final decision making process will occur.
If you promised an interviewer additional information, an email is a great way to transmit that information quickly and it’s one more opportunity to “follow-up”!!!