Heads Up! With Thanksgiving, right around the corner, it is a terrific time to remind those of you who are (or will be) interviewing for professional schools, jobs and fellowships to send thank you notes. One of the standard steps of applying for opportunities, this type of professional correspondence is often overlooked by applicants. In many situations, a thank you note can be influential in moving you to the next stage in the process, or even obtaining an offer. As written in a previous blog, giving thanks is very powerful for both the writer and receiver(s). Here are some suggestions to help you craft a strong thank you letter.
Who? Send your letters to the primary person (Dean of Admissions, PI, manger, HR, or faculty member, student) who worked with you to coordinate your interview. If you met with more than one person, you can either send one letter addressed to the primary person and the committee/group who has interviewed you or individual letters. Thank your interviewers after each telephone, Skype, or video interview and after second and final rounds. Thank you notes can also be sent to acknowledge a network contact, mentor, informational interviewee, or recommendation writer.
What to Include? Thank you notes should be a short (one or two short paragraphs), signed and sent by you, to each opportunity that has interviewed you. While a hand-written personal note has historically been preferred, in today’s market, due to electronic application and communication during the job search process, it is appropriate to send an electronic thank you letter. Simply thank the interviewers for their time interviewing you, emphasize something that you learned or positively experienced during the interview, and briefly restate your interest in the position and it match with your skills and interests.
When? It is best to send your note within a few days after your interview. Sending an electronic letter is quick and can be beneficial because decisions for positions are made within a few hours to days after your interview. If you send it via US mail, that will take longer to be received and your interviewers will appreciate it as well.
Why? Also, as part of job search etiquette, we know that are very appreciative and professionally thankful to those who appreciate their efforts to hire them.
How? It is best to send an electronic thank you letter to assure that your letter is quickly received and easily can be added to your electronic file, and/or forwarded to the others on your interview. Handwritten letters or notes (sometimes bought in a store) are appropriate and will be well-received as well.
Please feel free to visit the OITE website to schedule appointments with career counselors and to learn about additional programs and resources to prepare you for your job search.