Guest Author - Dianne Walker
While resumes are quickly becoming obsolete and giving way to companies using electronic job applications, one etiquette rule has not changed - the thank-you letters. A hiring manager can interview anywhere from five to twenty-five candidates for each job opening, so it can be difficult to remember faces. A simple thank-you letter will keep your name in front of the hiring manager during the decision-making process.
Who do you send the letter to?
The best time to collect information is at the beginning of the interview when everyone is introduced. Make sure you use their proper name and title depending on the formality you experienced during the interview. If you notice that everyone in the office is calling him Mr. Smith, donít send a letter addressing him by his first name Ė use Mr. Smith.
Don't send thank-you letters, however, if you donít have the names of the interviewers. Do not address letters to the wrong person, madam or sir, or even worse, To Whom It May Concern. If you didnít catch their names at the beginning of the interview, ask before you leave the room.
How do you send the letter?
Are you considering USPS or e-mail? While e-mail may be faster, itís definitely less personal. Instead of sending e-mail send a neat, handwritten card or letter as soon as you get home from the interview. The personal touch will help you to stand out even more than by just dashing off a quick email. If you hand-write the note, be sure to use nice stationary and a good pen. Pre-write the letter on scrap paper so you know exactly what youíre going to write on the final paper.
What should the letter say?
Keep it short and simple. Donít write pages, reiterating everything you talked about during the interview. Thank them for taking the time to talk with you. Let them know you enjoyed learning more about their organization. Briefly talk about how your skills would be a perfect match for the company, and that you are still very much interested in the position. Remind them of a memorable moment from the interview. This will help jog their memory of you and the interview. Offer to provide additional information in helping them to reach a decision.
While a thank-you letter does not guarantee the job, it does help you stand out as a professional. After a hiring manager has interviewed a number of candidates for the same position, your name will come back up before them long after the others are forgotten.