With Thanksgiving here, I thought it was perfect timing to write a blog about the importance of the thank you letter.

One would think sending a thank you letter upon completion of a job interview would be common sense, but many candidates don’t ever do it, no matter their experience level.  Why does this happen? Perhaps it is because job seekers don’t understand the importance of a thank you letter or the strategy behind the thank you letter.  So, here are 5 reasons you should send a thank you letter after interviewing:

1. Branding - Employers interview many candidates and most won’t send a thank you letter.  Sending a thank you letter allows another opportunity for you to promote your brand.  That email and/or personalized, hand written letter will make your brand stand out like a sports car among station wagons.

2. Demonstrate Common Courtesy and Respect – Everyone likes a person with manners.  Sending a thank you letter demonstrates common courtesy and respect.  It is an indication that you are likely going to treat co-workers and customers with the same courtesy and respect, a good sign!

3. Develop Cheer Leaders – When you interview, besides meeting with the person/people conducting the interview, you may meet the receptionist or be introduced to others on a tour.  You should get everyone’s business card or contact information and send everyone with whom you met a personalized thank you letter.  When you leave an office after an interview, people talk about you and the team gives their input.  If you’re the one person of the several who interviewed who sends everyone a thank you letter, you can develop a team of cheer leaders who will advocate for you.

4. Network – A thank you letter is also an opportunity to continue to engage with the people you meet in the office.  Stating that you want to keep in touch by inviting people to connect on LinkedIn is something you should consider.  You can also be subtle and include your signature in the email with links to your social profiles to stay connected.  Take advantage of the opportunity to establish a relationship and build your network.

5. Closing Words – Have you ever left an interview upset because you forgot to mention something or perhaps felt you gave a poor response to a question?  The thank you letter allows an opportunity to explain something you said in your interview or introduce new information you forgot to share for the employer to consider when making a hiring decision.  Take advantage of the opportunity to explain, elaborate, or close the deal by reinforcing your enthusiasm for the position.  Consider the thank you latter, your closing argument for why you should be chosen.

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