More than 75% of interviewers said a thank you email, letter or card has an impact on their decision-making process, according to a survey by TheLadders.
What your thank you note can achieve:
- Reinforce the employer’s memory of you – your brand, your unique selling proposition.
- Demonstrate your continuing interest and excitement about the job and the company.
- Help resolve any concerns the interviewer expressed.
- Build on things that went well – for example, saying a bit more about an accomplishment or skill the interviewer seemed especially impressed by.
- Demonstrate your follow-through, communication and people skills.
- Make you stand out. If five people interviewed for a job, three didn’t send any note, one sent a boring, generic note, and the fifth sent a dynamic and memorable note reinforcing their brand – who’s looking good?
Here’s an example:
Hello Mr. Williams,
Thank you very much for making time in your busy schedule to meet with me yesterday.
As I said then, I’m convinced that this role and the projects coming up are a great fit with my skills in automating procedures and facilitating cross-functional productivity initiatives. You may recall the example of the reporting process I streamlined at Simple Solutions.
I don’t know whether you’ve seen my former manager’s recommendation on LinkedIn, in which she wrote that “Meredith has an amazing way of saving time for her team, with significant impacts on productivity.”
I am confident that I can have a similar beneficial impact on your organization, and remain extremely interested in working with you and Plovercrest Press Media.
“What if I don’t hear back?”
There’s a lot to be said for following up more than once. If you haven’t heard back within a week, send another note, not to ask whether a decision has been reached, but to update the employer that you are still very interested and to check on whether they have everything they need from you. You might also add a new thought or bit of information relevant to something that was discussed in the interview. (This is where your smart note-taking during and after the interview come in handy.)
Send similar follow-ups about once a week, varying the day and the method (perhaps occasionally using the phone instead of a note), until a decision has been made. Think of it as a continuing conversation.
If you really can’t stand following up any more, send one last message saying something like this:
I’m still very interested. However, I’ve had to focus my attention on other opportunities, so I think I’ll stop checking in. But please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like me to come in for another discussion. At any rate, let’s keep in touch!”
If you don’t get the job:
Just because you weren’t chosen this time, for this role, doesn’t mean there might not be an opportunity at some other time. They may have been very impressed with you but simply had a candidate they thought was even better this time. So why not send a LinkedIn invitation, even a friendly update after you land elsewhere? The people you meet at interviews are valuable networking partners.
How you follow up after an interview can sometimes be a deciding factor in your future.
This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been updated for publication in 2018.