In today's highly competitive job market employers are interviewing more candidates per job opening, making it even more difficult to stand out as the preferred candidate. Just as your resume helped you get the first interview, your post-interview thank you note works to help you win the second interview. The primary job of a thank you note is to give the interviewer another opportunity to remember you favorably. A well written thank you note can help you stand out from the crowd of competing candidates.
Here are five tips to writing a perfect thank you note:
- It should be hand written.
There are many reasons to snail mail a hand written card. First of all it won't get lost or ignored in email. You don't want your well thought out message to get deleted as spam before it's even seen by the recipient.
Additionally, nothing says "personal touch" like a hand written note. It tells the reader that you think they are worth the time involved in sending an actual card with words you wrote with your own hand. It's a subtle form of flattery.
Last, a hand addressed envelope is irresistible. It always gets opened first. It always gets read. When was the last time you left a hand addressed envelope unopened over night?
- The card should be as unique as you are.
If you are going to take the time to send a card, make sure the card is memorable. Don't use those plain blank cards with the words "Thank You" scrolled across the front. If getting the second interview is important to you go to a card shop and get the most beautiful blank card you can find. Think about the recipient. Did you see pictures of sailboats or golfing prints on his wall? Did you notice a flowered calendar on her desk? These give you clues as to what type of artwork you should look for in a card for them. Your goal in selecting a card is to send something he/she will want to leave standing on their desk for a few days.
- Make you message memorable.
First, acknowledge the use of their time and thank them for their generosity. After all, they had to squeeze you in with a full day of responsibilities and tasks. Next, make mention of something you learned in the interview. Maybe they shared with you the background of the company, or upcoming challenges they or their industry faces. You can accomplish this in one or two sentences.
Third, tell them why you are excited about the position. Let them see your enthusiasm for the job and the company. Last, use your note to remind them why you are a perfect match. Remember, keep your note short and to the point. A perfect thank you note is between three and five sentences.
While a thank you note isn't going to get you hired, no matter how well written, it will give you another chance to make a great impression. As long as competition for good jobs remains high it pays to take every opportunity to stand out as unique and memorable.