Post-Interview Thank-You Note Do’s and Don’ts

Editor’s note: Make It Missoula is collaborating with the Missoula Job Service to help people find local jobs so that they can move home to Missoula or continue to call Missoula home.

We’ll be regularly posting both job listings and job hunting and interview advice. Be sure to watch the Make It Missoula Facebook page for new job listing announcements.

By JENNIFER LODINE-CHAFFEY

You worked hard on your résumé, applied for the job, and landed an interview. Now you can rest and wait for the inevitable offer, right?

Wrong. You are forgetting one very powerful part of your interview: The thank-you letter.

Why send a thank you letter? Not only is the thank-you a show of courtesy, it also sets you apart from the other candidates.

The thank-you letter serves as a positive reminder to the interviewer that you exist and are interested in the job. It also shows that you care about presenting yourself professionally and pay attention to social etiquette.

In some cases, a simple thank you can mean the difference between getting the job and losing out to another applicant.

How can you write an appropriate thank-you letter after your interview? The following is a list of what to do and what not to do with this important part of your application:

Do: 

A thank-you note to potential employers can help you land the job.

  1. Send a letter to each individual that interviewed you.
  2. Ascertain what type of communication is appropriate for the job environment. Some companies may prefer an email thank-you while other businesses favor handwritten cards. When in doubt, send an actual letter. Most people receive numerous emails each day. A personal card or letter will stand out.
  3. If you choose to compose a handwritten thank-you, use a good pen and either blue or black ink. If your handwriting is illegible, type up a letter instead.
  4. Send the letter about a day after your interview. Do not wait too long. Likewise, don’t send it 15 minutes later. That would mean you didn’t actually digest the interview process. Employers want to know that you went home and considered the interview thoughtfully.
  5. Keep your note short and concise.
  6. Thank the evaluators for the opportunity to interview.
  7. Reaffirm your interest in both the position and the company. Express excitement about the possibility of working there.
  8. Make the thank-you letter professional. Use the proper titles for the individuals who interviewed you. Avoid using their first names unless they specifically told you to.
  9. Remind the interviewer of how you could help the company. Be specific!
  10. Proofread and the edit the letter!

Don’t:

  1. Do not use stationary that is questionable. This means no scented notepads and no animal print designs.
  2. Do not use slang! Remember, you are presenting yourself at your professional best.
  3. Do not send a thank-you gift or tickets to an upcoming concert or a Montana Grizzly game. Such actions are definitely over-the-top and could be construed as bribery!

Writing a thank-you note takes only minutes of your time. This small courtesy, however, could mean the start of a meaningful career!

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Looking for a job in Missoula? Be sure to check out our Missoula Job Listings.  Be sure you “LIKE” the Missoula Job Service Facebook Page for daily post on job opening. You’ll also find Missoula-area information on Job Hunting ResourcesJob Hunting Tips, Job Interview Tips, tips for writing Cover Letters and Resumes.

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Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey of the Missoula Job ServiceJennifer Lodine-Chaffey was born in Missoula and received an MA in History from the University of Montana in 2006. She currently works as an Employment Consultant at the Missoula Job Service, an organization that offers programs and services to assist employers and job seekers alike. Those looking for employment can view job openings on our job board, website, and social media outlets. Employment Consultants provide résumé reviews, conduct practice interviews, and offer skillstesting.

The Job Service also provides a self-service area where job seekers have access to phones, a fax machine, a copier, and computers. Our qualified staff also offers business consulting services, including employee recruitment and retention assistance. Additionally, we provide financial support for businesses looking to train both new and current employees.

We are here to help our community!