Writing Effective Interview Follow Up Letters to Potential Employers
Leaving a Winning Lasting Impression
The key to securing the position you want is showing your potential employer that you are the most qualified candidate. It is not about how great your resume looks or what you did at your previous job, but how you will solve their problems. Only half the battle is won at the interview. The final winning blow is dealt at the end with your follow up letter.
Understand the Key Qualifications of the Position
It is quite obvious that you will be promoting your skills and work experience during the interview, but make sure you walk out of the meeting with a clear understanding of what the specific job responsibilities are. Because an effective follow up letter does not just thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration, but also reconfirms each key qualification of the position and explains how each one will be met by you.
Before you leave the meeting make sure you have the interviewer’s business card. You will need their full title and the correct address for your follow up letter. If you interview with multiple individuals make sure you have business cards or contact info for each one. Right after the interview (you may want to do this in your car before you leave the premises), quickly jot down some notes about the interview. Include everything from the specific job qualifications to the idle chitchat about their favorite sport.
If for some reason you do not have the contact information for one of your interviewers, no problem, call the company and speak with an Administrative Assistant. If you explain to the individual that you had just interviewed with a certain person at the company and would like to send a follow up note, you should not have any issues getting their contact information. Also, don’t forget to confirm the correct spelling of their name and their title.
Send Follow Up Letters Within 24 Hours
Although a written mailed letter is preferred, an email is acceptable. The follow up letter or email must be sent out the day of the interview – basically within 24 hours. Start the letter off with a short comment about something you discussed outside of the job, like a common love for a particular sport or some comment about their recent vacation (hopefully, you “broke the ice” with some fun, casual conversation). This will immediately put a smile on their face as they read your letter.
Next outline the key areas of responsibility of the position you are applying for and show them exactly how you will fulfill their needs. Then end the letter with a statement about how much you are looking forward to working with them. Keep the letter short and to the point. In this dog eat dog world, sending an effective follow up letter or email will make you rise to the top of the list of prospective candidates and will strengthen you negotiating position when it comes to salary, benefits, and extras such as signing bonuses.