After interviewing what felt like 100 people yesterday, I received three thank you letters. Of the three, only one got it right.
What confuses most people is that they truly believe a thank you letter is simply a ‘thank you’.
It’s your second chance at selling your skills and promoting your personal brand. It’s one of the strongest ways to market your skills but often the most neglected.
A thank you letter does the following:
- Gives you a chance to reiterate your strengths
- Allows you to rectify any errors you think you made in an interview. I’ve had many candidates reverse my initial negative impression after clarifying certain points in a thank you letter.
- Allows you to promote your personal brand.
Here’s the thank you letter you DON’T want to send:
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me about the Position Applied For with XXX Company. I really appreciate your time.
After speaking with you and the group, I think that I would be a perfect candidate for this position and think that I can learn a great deal from the rest of the team.
I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you once the final decisions are made regarding this position.
Here’s what’s wrong with this letter:
There’s a fine line between thanking them and looking desperate. Remember, both you and the interviewer took the time to meet. You want to thank them for their time, but also respect yours.
2) Weak language
Saying things like “I think I’m the perfect candidate” doesn’t make use of a thank you letter. You want to use confident language. Use words like “I’m confident” instead of “I think”.
3) No mention of strengths
The most important task of a thank you letter is to reinforce your skills. Sure you want to tell them that you’re the right person for the job, but the question is why. This thank you letter has no mention of why and the applicant has lost an excellent opportunity to flaunt their skills.
If you’re going to take the time to send a thank you letter, make sure you take the time to think about it first and use it to your advantage.
It’s often your last chance to market your career brand before a final decision is made.