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Thank You Letters - How to Do Them Right

It is always good form to send a thank you letter after a job interview. It is considered excellent etiquette and some employers tend to look more kindly upon interviewees who are quick to follow-up with a thank you letter. A thank you letter should always be sent soon after the job interview, within 24 hours is best.

Always keep the employer in mind when you write the thank you letter. A typed paper thank you letter sent through the mail is the best option with the second choice being a thank you letter sent via e-mail. Keep the personality of the company that interviewed you in mind as well as the personality of the interviewer and the rapport that was achieved during the interview. For interviews that are informal and where rapport was fair to excellent then a handwritten thank you note is just fine. If you are not sure what to write then check online where you will find a sample of thank you notes that can give you some suggestions but never copy anything online word for word.

Always thank the interviewer in the letter and make sure that you are clear about the fact that you are interested in being the chosen candidate for the position. Even if you decide after the interview that you do not, or cannot take the job, always send a gracious letter thanking the interviewer and then respectfully explain that you are withdrawing yourself from the pool of available candidates.

It never hurts to have a thank you letter for a job interview act as a sales letter or a follow-up sales letter. Explain again why the job is one you desire and restate your qualifications for the job and give your take on what your contribution could be to the job and to the company at large. Use the letter as an opportunity to mention anything relevant that the interviewer did not broach in the interview or that you as the interviewee did not bring up at the time. For example you might want to mention an award you won or a class you took or elaborate on something that was spoken about at the interview.

Before leaving the interview make sure that you double check the name of your interviewer and his or her title so you will get it right when you write up the thank you letter. It is always best to address the interviewer formally by his or her title such as Mr., Mrs. or Ms. The only time it is all right to not use a formal title is if you have a prior relationship with the interviewer.

There is more than one appropriate way to end a thank you letter. Some suggestions include "Sincerely", "Yours truly" or "Gratefully" and then sign your name. Even if you are not completely sure about what to write be aware that time is of the essence so get that short but simple letter of appreciation in the mail within 24 hours of being interviewed.

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