Even if you have completed an in-person interview feeling positive about your performance, it's not enough to leave it at that. The employer may be interviewing several other candidates who perform and impress just as well. Therefore, every small gesture to make an even more positive impression can help. Always send a follow-up note after your interview is complete -- preferably within 24 hours, according to "U.S. News & World Report." Today, that means sending an e-mail to each of the contacts you met with. Sending a letter over snail mail can take too long and make the employer question your technical savvy, according to Forbes.com.
Write a follow-up letter after an interview directly in an e-mail. The e-mail itself serves as the letter, so don't bother attaching a follow-up letter document. The "Subject" line of the e-mail can simply state "Thank you."
Personalize each of the e-mail follow-up letters you send. It's likely that you met with several individuals, which may include the HR manager, the person you would directly report to, and team members you may work with if you get the job. In the body of the e-mail, address the person by his first name, or if he introduced himself as Mr. Smith, go with the formal approach. For instance, "Dear John" or "Dear Mr. Smith."
Mention something you and the recipient related to during the interview to include in the body of the e-mail and reiterate your interest in the position. Tailor the message in a way that expresses your ability to address the company's needs for the position. For instance, "I enjoyed hearing about the successful launch of the latest product and the details that went into preparing for it. Having spent 10 years in pharmaceutical sales, the product launch stage has also always been an exciting experience for me as well. I believe I can provide the product sales experience needed for this position and am a character that pays strong attention to detail to ensure continued success for the product and company."
Conclude your letter with an expression of appreciation for the interviewer's time and your desire to move ahead together with her. For instance, "Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I continue to have strong interest in this position and the company, and I look forward to moving ahead with the next steps to the interview process." Sign off on the e-mail with "Sincerely," and your full name, phone number and e-mail address.
- Even if you did not perform your best in the job interview or feel you don't have a shot at it, you should still send a follow-up thank you letter. It shows you are professional and it leaves a neutral stance for continued communication should there be other opportunities more suitable for you in the future with the employer. You also never know when you may bump into the contacts you met with in the future for other circumstances. Avoid any future awkwardness by remaining professional and sending that follow-up letter.
Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.