At the end of every job interview it's imperative that you follow up with a thank-you email, even if you're not completely thrilled about the position. It's common courtesy, and it show's that your highly interested in moving forward. Many job candidates tend to forget that the interview doesn't end when you leave the office. Instead, the interview is only completed after you send a thank-you email.
If you want to improve your chances of getting the job, sending a thank-you email is crucial. Below are three easy rules to follow when writing and sending out your follow-up emails. Abiding to these three simple rules will demonstrate your diligence and put you a step above other candidates applying for the position.
1. Time is of the essence
It's important that you do not take too much time to send your thank-you email to the interviewer. A common rule of thumb is to send out your thank-you email within 12-24 hours of leaving the office. If you can get it done much sooner, then the better off you'll be.
2. Keep it short and to the point
Your thank-you email should be straight forward, and take no longer than 30 minutes to write. A short email will demonstrate that you value the hiring manager's time.
3. Personalization is key
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to copy and paste a template thank-you letter you found online. Though templates are great for getting you started, they are pretty generic, and lack personality. A great way to add personality and life to your thank-you email is to reference specifics from the interview. By personalizing your thank-you letter, you demonstrate that you were truly engaged during the interview and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer's mind.
While your resume and cover letter hold the most weight, no job search is complete without a thank-you email.
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3 rules to writing and sending out a thank-you email
1. Email signature.
Your email signature is possibly one of the most important branding tools you're not taking advantage of. It’s your chance to let everyone know what your expertise is, how to contact you and where to learn more about you online. Employees are often required to add the company logo, tag line and contact information to email signatures. As job seekers, an email signature is a subtle way to remind people what you do.
Quick tips: The most important information to include is your name, phone number, email address, desired occupation and link to your LinkedIn profile. An easy solution is to use an app like WiseStamp to create and insert your signature.
2. Active and robust LinkedIn presence.
LinkedIn has become a go-to source for companies of all sizes to seek out talent. While your profile will be similar to your résumé, it is not exactly the same. LinkedIn is a social network where people share information. Besides having a profile rich in content and media, you should also share newsworthy articles to help build your online reputation and stay connected with your network.
Quick tips: You must have a headshot, a headline that describes what you do and a summary where you tell your story. But don’t stop there. Embed a presentation that summarizes your experience or includes testimonials. Have you downloaded the SlideShare app for LinkedIn? What about the LinkedIn Connected or Pulse apps? These tools give you a better mobile LinkedIn experience.
3. An easily accessible, on-the-go résumé.
There will be occasions when someone wants you to send your résumé ASAP or when you arrive at an interview and your résumé is MIA. Save your résumés so you can easily access them and share them from your mobile device.
Quick tip: Being able to access important documents from anywhere is critical not only in your job search, but at work, too. Learn how to save and share documents using Dropbox or Google Drive, which provide free storage and are easily accessible from any device.
4. Business cards.
This may seem old-fashioned, but business cards make life easier. When you meet someone new or reconnect with an old friend, just hand him or her your card at the end of the conversation.
Quick tip: Your business card need only include the information you want to share: your name, occupation (or desired occupation), phone number, email address and links to any social media profiles, like your LinkedIn URL. If you want to use something more high-tech, try one of the apps that allows you to share your card from your phone, like CardDrop. Or pick up a business card with FullContact’s Card Reader.
5. Your perfected pitch.
You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Don’t blow it. You’ll need it when you meet people and they ask what you do. You’ll also need one customized for every interview you take. Your pitch conveys what problem you can solve for an employer. Use words and language to ensure your unique style and personality come through. And avoid résumé-speak or jargon that isn’t universally understood.
Quick tip: Keep your pitch under a minute, and practice so it sounds natural. If you need some guidance, check out the myPitch app created by Karalyn Brown of InterviewIQ.
6. Target list of potential employers.
Rather than searching job boards all day, looking for the perfect job and getting lost in the black hole of applications, why not approach people inside companies you would like to work for? This route is more work up front, but it will help you stand out and rise to the top of the referral pile if you make the cut.
Quick tip: There are tons of apps for finding posted jobs, but what you really need is additional help networking. Don’t miss Alison Doyle’s new app called Career Tool Belt. It's loaded with job hunting tips, including the 30 Days to your Dream Job series to guide you day by day.
7. A dose of motivation.
Job searching tends to lead to frustration. Rejection is an unfortunate part of the process. Invest time doing things that rejuvenate your energy and keep you feeling hopeful, such as exercising, volunteering or learning a new skill. Keep moving forward and create to-do lists and follow-up actions every day.
Quick tip: Whether you use a calendar system or an organizational app like Any.do, mapping out your weekly activities helps maintain momentum and puts you in the driver’s seat.