Thank you letters or notes have become an essential part of job interviewing etiquette. They not only serve to keep your name in front of the personnel department but also are a mark of professionalism. They do not have to be fancy or even more than a few sentences long. The three essentials are to thank the person who interviewed you, include your name and what job you interviewed for.
Send the thank you letter the old-fashioned way – by snail mail. Use stationary with matching envelopes or a small blank card. This gives the best impression. Do not just send a thank you letter by email because it will get lost in the sea of email that inundates a personnel manager. It also looks cheap. Send the thank-you note that evening or the next day at the latest while your interview is still in their minds.
The Interviewer’s Name
Although it’s best to get the full name of your interviewer, sometimes just using the first name will do fine. You can ask the interviewer’s name during or at the end of the interview. If you are interviewed by numerous people or a committee, then you may have to send many thank you letters to mail or at least send a thank you letter to the person who seems to be charge of hiring.
Double check that you spelled the person’s name right on the envelope and on the note itself. You don’t want an interviewer’s last impression of you to be, “He spelled my name wrong.” Do not scratch out the wrong name and place the correct name over top. Toss out the note and start again. This not only looks messy, but makes it appear as if you cannot remember details.
This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many job applicants send a gushing thank you letter without including their name. Include both your first and last name, no matter how unusual your first name is. You are not entitled to be on a first name basis with the person the person you are writing to because you haven’t been hired yet.
If your signature is illegible, then be sure to include an address label beneath your signature so at least your name is easily readable. Although handwritten thank you letters give the best impression, they don’t if you have incredibly bad handwriting. Type the note instead, but be sure to leave a space for a hand written signature.
The Job Title
Businesses – even small businesses – often have many job openings at once, so employers can become easily confused over who interviewed for which job. In the thank you note, mention your job title. End on an optimistic note that you look forward to hearing from the interviewer.
Virgina Tech. “After interviews thank-you letter follow up.” http://www.career.vt.edu/interviewing/afterthanksfollowup.html
Houston Job Search. “Interview thank you letters.” http://www.houston-job-search.com/interview_thank_you_letters.htm
eHow. “Job Interview Tips: How to Write Interview Thank-You Letters.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA47AQAYGGw