It seems like many potential employees have become so focused on the interview process, that they have forgotten the importance of writing a thank you letter after a job interview.  Maybe this was because they started going out of style while the economy was booming and it seemed like there were jobs for everyone.  However, now that we are in a more competitive marketplace once again, it is time to revive the art of the thank you letter.  Here are a few tips to make sure that your thank you letters are well received.

3 Tips to Writing a Thank You Letter After a Job Interview

1.    Time is of the Essence. When it comes to thank you letters, speed is everything.  It is important that you are sending out a thank you letter within 24 hours of completing your job interview.  There have been a number of studies over the last decade, and they are report that a very small percentage of job seekers still write thank you letters.  If you are trying to stand out, this is a tactic that can be used without looking foolish, unlike many other strategies that people are using these days.  Some people prefer to stick to hand written letters, while others prefer email.  Both can be extremely effective, so it is really a matter of preference.

2.    Make It Your Own. Personalizing your thank you letter is just as important as customizing your resume.  While each one can generally be the same, you should also make sure that there is a level of personalization as well.  Throw in a comment about certain part of interview, such as shared interests or a skill that was discussed the most.  Additionally, each thank you letter must seem to be genuine.  You don’t need to lavish your interviewer with praise, but an honest and simply thank you can go a long way.  Even if you want to use a template that you have found elsewhere, rewrite it in your own words.

3.    It is Still a Tool. Even though the primary reason that you are sending a thank you letter is to let them know that you appreciated the opportunity to be interviewed, that doesn’t mean that you should treat it like a promotional tool as well.  Spend a sentence or two addressing a specific skill that sets you apart from the 100 other interviews that were done over the last week.  This can also be an excellent time to address and weaknesses or misunderstandings that may have been discussed during the interview.  You can even add new skills that were not discussed.  As you summarize why you are the best candidate, you can also include a quick piece of information that you may have forgotten to bring up in the interview.

A good thank you letter can make the difference for employers that are deciding between a few equally qualified candidates.  When you send it, make sure to send it quickly, make it your own, and remember that it is a tools to leveraged to your advantage.  By remembering these 3 tips to writing a thank you letter, your next job interview may be your last.