You have done everything right so far. You have taken the time to craft a perfect resume and cover letter for your job application. You landed an interview and had prepared yourself thoroughly. You handled yourself well in your interview and thought it went very well. But what next? Do you just sit and wait to see if you are handed the job? No. No, you don’t!
You have taken time and effort in your job application process that seems like a lot of wasted effort if you don’t follow your actions with a follow-up letter after your interview.
Sitting and waiting to hear back from an employer can be very frustrating. In fact, the silence can be quite deafening. But there is something you can do in the meantime to keep the lines of communication between you and your new connections open. Write and ‘thank you’ letter after your successful interview.
How a simple ‘thank-you’ letter can help your application
Backing up your job interview with a well-crafted thank-you letter or email can help to keep your application fresh in the employer’s mind. Imagine sitting through what can seem like an endless round of interviews where every candidate had their good points, but none of them particularly stood out from the crowd.
Sending out a thank you note or email can help to tip the balance in your favor and make you into a more memorable candidate. This can be a particularly useful tip for when you have been put on a shortlist for interview and the employer is finding it difficult to choose between you and another equally qualified candidate. It could give you the edge when it comes to the crunch and a decision has to be made.
Going through the motions of applying for a job doesn’t necessarily end once you have finished your interview. Think of it as an ongoing process that only ends when the position has been awarded to a candidate. Right up until that point, you are still in with a chance – and it’s your job to take every opportunity you are given!
Sending a thank you letter following your interview not only helps to keep it fresh in the mind of the employer, but it gives you an opportunity to keep open the lines of communication between yourself and the employer. This will allow you to build up a meaningful relationship with them, so even if you are unlucky with this application on this occasion, you could be the first person that springs to their mind should another position open up that you would be suitable for.
Switch your point of view
Let’s do a bit of a role swap here for a moment. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer who is looking for a new recruit. They have sat through a number of interviews and have narrowed down their choice to maybe two or three likely candidates. Each one is well qualified and has suitable experience that could bring value to the vacant role. But which one do you choose?
While you are busy deliberating over your choice, an email pops up from one of the three candidates that you are deciding between. The message is well-written and eloquent and you appreciate the time and trouble that they have taken to write you a thank you note.
You think back to the candidate’s interview and re-live in your mind about how well they did. You realize that they would be a good fit for your company because they just perfectly demonstrated how much care and attention they pay to everything.
Now ask yourself, which of the three candidates are you going to hire now, one of the two silent ones, or the one that took the trouble to thank you for your time?
When an employer is choosing between a shortlist of candidates, the job offer will always go to the candidate that took the time to follow up with a thank you note. Doing this sets you apart from the others, even when they are equally capable of doing the job on offer.
The best time to send out a thank you letter is within 24 hours of your interview. Doing this will mean it arrives while your interview is still fresh in the employer’s mind.