Thank you letters are one of those interviewing secrets job seekers should make sure they take advantage of. Job seekers who send thank you letters are more likely to leave hiring managers with positive impressions and potentially gain the edge that leads to a job offer.
For the best impact, you should send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview to maximize its effectiveness. Handwritten letters are the traditional method and show thoughtfulness, but emails are also appropriate when you know the hiring decision is being made quickly or the preference for email has been made known.
Thank you letters should express gratitude to the hiring manager (or whoever interviewed you), because they took time out of their busy schedule to meet with you. You should remember to mention in your thank you letter how great you think the company is, and reiterate your enthusiasm for the position.
“I take note of candidates who send thank you letters,” says James Thompson, Vice President of JMJ Phillip Executive Search Firm. “If I interviewed two good candidates, the one who sends the thank you letter often gets the job offer. It demonstrates professionalism and grace, which are desired qualities in an employee.”
The extra step of sending a thank you letter can have a big payoff. There’s no way of knowing if you missed a job opportunity because you didn’t send a thank you letter, but many employees who are hired are told later that’s the push they needed to land the job.
Use a thank you letter to reassure anything that may have gone wrong in the interview. Such as if you have to relocate, or if you know or learn that there were concerns about your commitment to moving, make sure to include in your letter how much you love the area and can see yourself living there.