More than 75% of interviewers said a thank-you note has an impact on their decision-making process, according to a survey by TheLadders.
What your follow-up can achieve:
- Reinforce the employer’s memory of you – your brand, your unique selling proposition.
- Demonstrate your continuing interest and excitement about the job and the company.
- Help resolve any concerns the interviewer expressed.
- Build on things that went well – for example, saying a bit more about an accomplishment or skill the interviewer seemed especially impressed by.
- Demonstrate your follow-through, communication and people skills.
- Make you stand out. If five people interviewed for a job, three didn’t send any note, one sent a boring, generic note, and the fifth sent a dynamic and memorable note reinforcing their brand – who’s looking good?
Here’s an example:
Hello Mr. Williams,
Thank you very much for making time in your busy schedule to meet with me yesterday.
As I said then, I’m convinced that this dynamic role and the projects coming up are a great fit with my proven skills in automating procedures and collaborating across departments to improve productivity. You may recall the example of the reporting process I streamlined at Simple Solutions.
Since we aren’t connected on LinkedIn, I’m not sure you’ve seen the recommendation there from my former manager, Maria Liu: “… Meredith has an amazing way of saving time for her team, with significant impacts on productivity….” [You could even refer to an attached screen shot, PDF or printed copy of your recommendations, if it seems appropriate.]
I am confident that I can have a similar beneficial impact on your organization, and remain extremely interested in working with you and Golden Gate Consultants.
“What if I don’t hear back?”
There’s a lot to be said for following up more than once. For example, you might:
Send a quick email on the same day, or a handwritten note mailed immediately. “Just a quick note to thank you… and I’ll follow up more properly by tomorrow.”
Send a slightly more detailed follow-up after that, perhaps in a different medium than the first note – email to follow a handwritten note, or hard copy letter after an email.
Make a phone call a few days later, “to make sure you have everything you need from me,” perhaps adding an update about some aspect of the interview discussion. Think of it as a continuing conversation.
If you’ve followed up several times, and a long time goes by without hearing back, send one last message saying something like this:
I’m still very interested. However, I’ve had to focus my attention on other opportunities, so I think I’ll stop checking in. But please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like me to come in for another discussion. At any rate, let’s keep in touch!”
If you don’t get the job:
Just because you weren’t chosen this time, for this role, doesn’t mean there might not be an opportunity at some other time. So why not send a LinkedIn invitation, even a friendly update after you land elsewhere? Networking and career management are ongoing processes.