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Sending a Thank You Letter after an Interview

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Completing a strong interview is a step in the right direction towards landing the perfect job, but it isn't the final step. It's also important to acknowledge the time your interviewer spent considering you as a new hire. Sending a thank-you note is an appropriate way to show your respect and gratitude. Not only does the note convey your appreciation, it also helps you stand out above the crowd. When writing the note, be sure to keep in mind the timing, content, and voice of the letter.

Time It Right

Send your thank-you note within the first 24 hours following your interview. Waiting too long may cause the memory of your impression to fade. It may also look as though you didn't consider it important enough to do right away. If you're mailing a thank-you note instead of sending it electronically, make sure it's postmarked in the 24-hour period as well. If you waited a little longer than you meant to, don't draw attention to the mistake by mentioning it in your letter saying, "I apologize this took me so long." Rather than make it look like you can't manage your time, it's best just to skip over it.

How to Send It

Mailing a thank-you note the traditional way may work in some situations, but it can also be seen as outdated. According to a 2012 survey conducted by Accountemps, 87 percent of surveyed employers think a thank-you email is perfectly acceptable, while 81 percent are fine with a phone call. Roughly 38 percent of surveyed managers thought handwritten thank-you letters were appropriate. Those who considered text messages and notes sent through social media sites like Facebook were among the minority, meaning it's best to avoid both of those avenues. Be sure to judge your response by the type of business you're applying to and the personality of your potential employer.

What to Say

Personalize your thank-you note. Avoid making it sound generic, as though someone who wasn't part of the interview could have written it. Include the employer's name and the title of position you're applying for. Mention something specific about the interview that you appreciated, and express your interest in the job. Thank him for the time he spent with you, and include your contact information. If you're aware of the next step in the hiring process, mention that as well.

What to Avoid

A poorly worded thank-you note can be as detrimental as not writing one at all. Your letter should show that you spent quality time writing it. Make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct, and show your enthusiasm for the position. Rather than making the broad statement that you think you're qualified for the job, mention the skills and experience you have that proves you've got what it takes. Don't assume the employer has your contact information just because you gave him your resume. Include it in your note just in case your application got misplaced.