Writing a Thank You or Follow Up Letter
It is important to let an employer, or anyone else who has helped you professionally, know that you appreciated his/her time for allowing you to have an interview. You should immediately write a thank you letter (either typed or handwritten) expressing that appreciation. Include:
- The employer’s name
- The position for which you applied
- Restate your interest and why you think you are the best candidate for the position.
- Thank the interviewer for his/her time and for considering you for the position.
Thank You Letters
Always send a thank you letter. Often it may be the difference between getting an offer or not. If an employer has two equally skilled potential employees who both fit with the organization, receiving a professional thank you letter may tip the scales in one’s favor. A thank you letter is also a place for you to reiterate your skills or to mention something you may have forgotten or hadn’t had the chance to speak about.
Timing is critical! This letter should always be sent within 24 hours after the interview. There are three ways to send a thank you:
- A typed thank you letter using letterhead that matches your resume heading
- A handwritten note using a professional notecard or thank you card.
- An e-mail thank you.
Regardless of the method you select, send a thank you letter to every person with whom you interviewed; otherwise, send it to the chair of the screening committee. This letter is to express appreciation , reiterate your interest in the position, and to further sell yourself and your skills as they relate to the position specifically.
Advice for Letters Sent Electronically
Scanning: If the company uses an applicant tracking system, prepare a scannable cover letter and resume.
Internet: Send your cover letter and resume in the body of one e-mail message. The subject line is a valuable tool. Use it for the position title.
The Stall Letter
Upon occasion, candidates find that they must respond to a job offer before they are ready to make a decision. This letter should be written only when you are seriously considering the offer. Let the employer know thatyou are interested in the position and explain briefly why you cannot make a decision at this time. State a specific date by which you will be able to announce your plans with certainty. It is not ethical to accept an offer and keep looking .
It is a matter of common courtesy to notify an employer once you have made a definite decision to withdraw from consideration or to reject an offer of employment. Rejecting an employment offer should be done thoughtfully. You never know whom the employer might know and whether you might want to apply for a different position at that organization in the future. Indicate that you have carefully considered the offer and have decided not to accept it . It is not necessary to give a long explanation. Thank him or her for the offer and confidence in you.
This letter is written to accept a formal job offer and is probably the most exciting letter of all to write. Confirm the terms of your employment, including starting date, salary, etc. Express your appreciation for the opportunity and enthusiasm in beginning employment.