Your Thank You Letter Should Consist of These 6 Important Traits

John Krautzel
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Sending a thank you letter after a job interview can set you apart from other candidates. You need to express more than just thanks in your letter, though. Discover six important traits this correspondence should have that can help to cinch the deal after your interview.

General Tips

It's always best to send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview. If possible, compose a thank you email in your car or in the company lobby immediately following the interview, because the interview will still be fresh in your mind. Sending the note during business hours ensures it shows up in the hiring manager's inbox sometime during the day when he is at the office. The note should bring up some memorable aspect of your interview or conversation that triggers recall in the mind of the boss. Hiring managers generally prefer an email versus and handwritten thank you letter. However, don't make the letter too casual. You should still use a traditional letter format and write more than just one or two sentences.

Six Important Traits

Demonstrate your job knowledge and communication skills with these vital characteristics of a thank you letter.

1. Professional Greeting

Open with a professional greeting. Try "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Ms. Johnson." Ms. covers women who are married or single.

2. Word Choice

Keep your tone professional and engaging throughout. Avoid using slang or negative statements. Your letter should have a professional tone.

3. Attention-Grabbing Paragraph

The first paragraph of your letter should capture the hiring manager's attention. Compliment some aspect of the interview, such as how comfortable the people made you feel or the detailed answers given your questions.

4. Personalization

Personalizing your thank you letter is the key to making your letter stand out. Mention details about your conversation that were memorable to the hiring manager. For example, briefly mention the idea you have for solving a problem that the manager liked. This reminds the hiring manager that you're a good fit for the job and shows your enthusiasm for the position.

5. Concision

Be concise throughout the letter and do your best to make it no longer than one paragraph in length.

6. Close Strong

The closing paragraph summarizes the scope of your letter. It should include a suggestion for a future action, such as looking forward to hearing from the hiring manager and offering any additional information the employer needs to make a hiring decision or offer.

Sending a thank you letter to a potential employer is a final and often crucial step in the job interview process. Just like your cover letter and resume, it's essential to craft this document in a specific matter if you want to impress your employer and boost your chances of landing the job.

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