Most people forget to send a thank-you letter after interviewing. Mistake. Those who do send one often fail to capitalize on this wonderful opportunity to further promote their value. Big mistake.
While it is true that this type of document should thank the interviewer for their time and interest, a greater impact on the hiring decision can be made by incorporating one or two of the following strategies.
- Emphasize an achievement that epitomizes the skills identified as most valuable during the interview. As succinctly as possible, remind the employer of how one of your major career achievements is predictive of what you offer.
- Share additional relevant information from your background that was forgotten or missed. The stress of interviewing and the quick responses required means we can inadvertently forget to mention an important accomplishment or provide an insightful comment. This forum provides a second chance to do so.
- Build a stronger relationship through sharing something that may be helpful or of interest to the interviewer. Most interviews usually touch upon goals and / or challenges of the company. Using these "touchstones" to follow up with some research is a tactic used by few, but sharing an ensuing article or relevant ideas goes beyond stating interest in a company to truly expressing it.
- Overcome an objection or potential barrier to being hired. Gently confront something that you feel "in your bones" will keep you from being seriously considered. For example, if you do not possess a certain software skill identified as being essential, consider indicating your willingness to learn, mentioning if you are a quick study.
- Provide a rational for the employer to see you excelling in the position. Prepare a strong closing statement that expresses your enthusiasm and commitment to achieving success in this new role.
Hand-written notes provide a warm, personal touch. Mailed letters look very professional. But in today's world of fast-paced technology and communications, a hard-hitting, concise thank-you email may be the best bet.
Don't miss out on what is likely your last opportunity to shape the impression you make. Do write and send out quickly a powerful thank-you message after you interview.