You recently participated in an interview. You put your best foot forward, and you are happy with your chances of getting the job. Now you are looking for a way to solidify your position. Perhaps you are also looking for the best way to stay professional and portray yourself in a positive light so that you can remain in good standing with the company, even if you don’t receive a job offer. The best action is to write a follow-up letter.
Typically, this type of correspondence is called a “thank you letter,” but a better name would be “follow-up letter” because it serves many purposes. The response can be used for:
- Expressing gratitude
- Reconnecting with employers
- Reminding the employer of your interest
- Keeping your candidacy top of mind to employers
Because this correspondence serves so many purposes, you’ll want to make sure your email accomplishes all of these goals:
Reconnect with the Employer and Build Rapport
At the beginning of your letter, you want to start by expressing gratitude for the interview and recap the highlights of the meeting. The hiring manager may have had many interviews for many different positions so this is your way of refreshing their memory. Make sure the interviewer remembers the conversation they had with you. Think about how the interview went, and mention something that was said in the interview or something that you liked about the position or the company.
Here is an example:
“Thank you for your time yesterday. It was my privilege to interview with your company. Our conversation left me feeling very energized about the Marketing Coordinator position on your team. During the interview, I mentioned how many aspects of my previous position as a Marketing Intern at PeopleScout prepared me this opportunity.”
Sell Your Strengths
A follow-up letter gives you another chance to present your skills as they relate to the job opening. This is an easy way to keep the hiring manager thinking about you when they are down to the final few candidates. You can restate some key aspects of the job that are a strong match to your background. Whether or not you make it to the final cut, this is a way to help keep your name in play. Did you forget to mention something in the interview? Maybe you have a cool idea you would like to mention? This letter is giving you a second chance to present some strengths that weren’t discussed in the interview.
Here is an example:
“I wanted to emphasize my experience with Google Analytics which gave me insight on how to track marketing campaigns and client buy generic accutane activity. My professional experience with market research and Google Analytics will be of great value to your company. I am also happy to hear that this role requires communication, vendor management and event planning skills. These are areas of strength for me as I genuinely enjoy interpersonal interaction and planning the details that go into events.”
Keep your Candidacy Top of Mind
Keeping your candidacy top of mind is the ultimate goal. Chances are you aren’t the only candidate being interviewed for the open position. The best way to achieve this goal within the letter is to re-communicate your interest in the position and express how you will help the company achieve its goals. A follow-up letter is a perfect time to show that the company is still on your mind and you’re focused on how you can help. Show them you know how to align yourself with the high-level goals of the company. Also, be sure to give the employer your contact details, so that they can get in touch with the next steps.
Here is an example:
“My extensive education in marketing, technological savvy and willingness to learn will allow me to fit into the role of Entry-Level Marketing Coordinator at XYZ Company. I look forward to the opportunity to help the XYZ team strategically expand their market share. I look forward to speaking with you further about this position. I can be reached via email at [email address] or by phone at [phone number].”
The Proof is in the Numbers
The process of writing this letter takes a little extra time, but the payoff can be big. According to CareerBuilder, nearly 15 percent of hiring managers say they would not hire someone who failed to send a follow-up letter after the interview. Thirty-two percent say they would still consider the candidate but would think less of him or her.
In addition, 22 percent of employers say they are less likely to hire a candidate if the candidate doesn’t send a follow-up note after the interview. 56 percent said it shows that the candidate isn’t really serious about the position, and a whopping 86 percent said it shows a lack of follow-through.
Follow-up letters make a positive impression on the employer. Most career planning experts believe sending an after-interview follow-up letter is a must. Research shows that less than 10 percent of job seekers perform the simple act of giving following up with a letter after an interview. That means the simple act of sending a follow-up message can put you ahead of 90 percent of your competition!