The Importance of a Thank You Letter
Congratulations! You have just completed your interview! This is an exciting step in your burgeoning career. Now, we at Direct IT Recruiting Inc. are unleashing our professional recommendation for what the top 10% of candidates do. What these candidates do differently, to rise above the rest, is write a thank you note following their interview in a timely fashion (same day or within 24 hours).
While the thank you note is often overlooked, it can be compared to going out to a nice dinner (being the interview), and then once the dinner is completed, receiving a savoury chocolate mint with the bill. Even when the dinner is done, the restaurant wants to leave one lasting impression that is pleasant, ensuring that you leave the restaurant pleased. Just like how it comes as a pleasant surprise when restaurants have mints, thank you notes are rare in the contemporary job hunt. A hiring manager is accustomed to looking at dozens (potentially even hundreds) of candidates while searching. If you are fortunate to be selected for an interview, writing a thank you note over email may leave a lasting positive impression on the potential employer’s mind, elevating you to the “top of the pile,” so to speak. It also demonstrates that you as a candidate are personally invested and interested in the job and are taking the hiring process seriously. If the hiring process comes down to two candidates, and they are extremely close in terms of skillsets and appeal to the company, the candidate who writes the thank you note will often tip the scales in their favour, as this oft-overlooked step makes a lasting impression.
While the resume is important for getting an interview, and the interview is crucial to getting a job offer, these processes are never instantaneous. This is why it is called the hiring process, as it is a process. Sending a thank you note to the potential employer can fill the gap between the interview and the offer and keep you top of mind with the employer during this period. As well, it shows strong follow-up skills to your potential employer. The timing of writing the thank you note is important, as it must be emailed, or LinkedIn messaged the same day or within 24 hours. The thank you letter exemplifies your responsiveness and showcases your written communication skills. It is common for the hiring manager to have multiple interviews back-to-back, so sending a thank you note can elevate you above the deluge of other candidates that they have sifted through in the hiring process.
The interview can make even the most qualified candidate nervous causing the candidate to forget or omit information that you may have otherwise discussed in the interview. Sometimes, you may be surprised by a question and may not be prepared for it as well as other, more common questions. Oftentimes, this can be referred to as the “drive-home feeling,” where you imagine everything you should have said in the interview. This can be corrected in a thank you note, which can “fill the gaps” in your interview and act as an extension to the interview. This approach can make your future employer feel more confident in what they may have previously seen as weak points. This also makes you seem more self- aware of any problems that arise, and that you are proactive in dealing with them.
While all of this information on writing a thank you note is important, if you simply use an impersonal template that you found on Google, this will make you look worse to the employer than if you simply had not sent anything at all. This should be avoided, as writing a personalized email while addressing topics covered in the interview will show that you were actively listening to the conversation and you may want to inject and reiterate some of these key points in the thank you letter. Mentioning items such as enjoying the company culture and their excellent work environment may be viewed as a compliment to the hiring manager.
In closing, the thank you note serves to both keep you in the hiring manager’s mind, as well as demonstrates that you are willing to put in the extra work above other potential candidates. It also can serve to help out if the interview didn’t quite go to plan, or if you felt that you had an extraordinary response to a question that you weren’t able to properly express in the interview. Sending a thank you note is a professional courtesy. Just remember, like how a delicious chocolate mint from a restaurant has you leave the restaurant pleasantly surprised, a sincere, well-written thank you note leaves the interview on an even stronger note, and can show your employer your skills in action, before even starting the job. Good luck on your job search!
Sample Thank You Note
Hi Hiring Manager,
Thank you for your valuable time today to meet with me to discuss (role). I found the details regarding your organization to be incredibly interesting both personally and professionally. Given my unique talents and experiences in this industry, I trust that I have demonstrated that I would be an indomitable contributor that will ensure continuous success of all current and future projects. I also found how this (role) coalesces into (division of company), and the associated responsibilities to be fascinating. I am confident that I would be an invaluable asset in this (role) and would flourish in this position. Certain skills that I possess such as ( insert skills) lead me to believe that I would be a good fit for your organization. It would be an honour to be bestowed with the opportunity to be on your team in (division/group within company).
I enthusiastically await your response and discussing next steps. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.