It should come as no surprise that a thank you letter is an expectation – not an option – after an employment interview. Yet writing an effective note of thanks, that is both strategic and meaningful, takes careful consideration.
A follow-up thank you letter should express gratitude for the opportunity, but also provide a meaningful reminder of the value being brought to the table. Your value! Tailor all content in the letter to the specific needs of the interviewer and/or organization and be professional, yet authentic, in tone and format.
The goal of the thank you letter is to generate a positive, personalized reaction. If composed correctly, a thank you note can be the distinguishing difference between you and competition, winning you the job offer.
A simple note that says: “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me” won’t cut it.
Below is an example of a detailed thank you letter for a security executive which covers 5 critical elements:
1. Applies a professional tone and approach.
2. Customizes content to the company’s requirements and addresses specific pain points.
3. Reminds the reader of the value and qualifications offered.
4. Expresses interest and sincerity.
5. Balances detailed content with brief delivery.
Dear Mr. Johnston:
I would like to thank you for meeting with me today to discuss your security risk concerns and plans.
Stone Energy’s focus on the future and desire to invest in risk and security management is commendable.
You mentioned the specific need for a discreet yet speedy response. Valuing your need to minimize business interruption, you will appreciate my low profile and proactive approach. I can facilitate a quick assessment of your organization’s individualized needs within the first 30 days on the job, providing a detailed action plan shortly after without any disruption to operations.
Your goal is the same as my goal: lowered liability and stress, along with smoother business operations. After successfully managing over 150 risk and security projects with comparable security challenges to your own – all on schedule – I am confident we can reach the desired result, rapidly and tactfully.
I look forward to the next step in exploring work together and putting plans into place. Thank you again.
For greatest impact, consider handwriting and hand-delivering your thank you letter. If time is short, or people are harder to reach in person, a customized email is the next best option. Never generically email a group though. Write a separate note for each interviewer and consider ways to deliver unique details in each.
The next time you sit down to compose a note of thanks after an interview aim to create a letter which emphasizes the critical factors outlined above. Demonstrate genuine interest, a solid understanding of the role, and an alignment between your skills and the job requirements. Reassure the employer that you are the candidate of choice by providing plenty of value that is hard to pass up.