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Thank you notes are an often overlooked element of the job search, but remain an important signal to many interviewers of your professionalism and the seriousness of your interest in a position. Hand-written notes are appropriate, but email notes are also acceptable in most cases. Susan Ireland, a job search expert, recommends a "past/present/future" approach. The first section of your email thanks the person for the interview – past. The next covers the present, reminding him of your qualifications and what you're doing that could contribute to the company. Finally, focus the interviewer on the future – what you hope will happen next.
Address the email to the individual with whom you interviewed. If you spoke with multiple people at the company, send each a similar email. Make sure you correctly use the person's full first and last name, along with his title, when addressing your note, as follows:
TO: John Doe, Hiring Manager
Start off your post-interview email by thanking the interviewer for his time during your interview. Mention the date as a reminder, particularly if he has been interviewing multiple candidates: "I greatly appreciate your time and interest during my interview with ACME Corporation last Tuesday, March 13." Continue with a positive sentence or two about how you appreciate his putting you at ease or how you enjoyed the group format of the interview, or another comment specific to your experience.
Use the second paragraph of your email thank you note to make yourself stand out. Remind the interviewer of your primary qualifications, linking them directly to the company's requirements: "After talking to you Tuesday, I am even more confident that my experience in the XYZ industry, along with my advanced certification as an XYZ developer, make me an excellent fit for the position we discussed." Use a specific example if appropriate: "I have several ideas about how the company could increase its development standards for the ABC product line." Keep your statement strong, confident and concise, but avoid sounding cocky or reiterating everything on your resume or application.
Keep the Door Open
Conclude your email by briefly repeating your thanks for the opportunity to interview. Then, depending on how you left things with the interviewer, reinforce your interest in the position and that you are looking forward to hearing from him in the near future. If nothing specific was mentioned about follow-up as you completed the interview, you might include a proactive statement, indicating your intention to contact him early next week to further discuss the position. Include your email address or phone number to make it easier for him to contact you. Proofread you memo, then push "send."
As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.
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