You know you should send an email after an interview. But, what should it say? Here’s our quick guide on writing effective follow-up letters to stack the odds in your favor.
1 – After a Phone Interview
Send all thank-you letters as soon as possible. Don’t delay longer than 24 hours. As phone interviews are part of a screening process, a one paragraph follow-up is enough. Thank the interviewer for their time. Then, restate why you are interested in the position and why you would be a good fit.
2 – After an Interview
Plan to write to everyone you meet during an interview. These letters should be between one to two short paragraphs. Thank each person for the opportunity, explain why you are interested in the job and highlight how your skills, experiences and talents align with the role. Customize each note based on individual conversations. End by encouraging them to contact you with further questions.
3 – After a Second Interview
A second interview is a great sign. Keep up the excellent work by repeating your letter-writing process from the first interview. These emails may be a bit longer and more specific; however, try to keep them in the two to three paragraph range. Sell your skills and continue to convey your ongoing excitement at the prospect of joining the team.
4 – Checking In
If you haven’t heard back after two weeks, or if three to five days has passed after the stated deadline, you may send an email to the hiring manager. Look at this as a friendly reminder to say you still are interested. Hiring takes time, and sometimes companies need a little nudge. This note should be one short paragraph. Ask about the status of the position, offer to send additional information if needed and sign-off with a thank you.
5 – Staying In Touch
Once you know you didn’t get the job or weeks have passed since you checked in via email, you can ask to establish a professional relationship with the hiring manager. Limit this note to one paragraph. Thank the person for their time and ask to keep in touch. This letter won’t change the final hiring decision, but you are extending good will which may help you down the road.
These rules apply regardless of the type of correspondence.
- Use an informative subject line such as “Thank You for the Interview”
- Keep emails on the same thread for easy reference
- When in doubt use Mr. or M.
- Keep letters brief and to the point
- Be gracious
- Close with your name and contact information
- Proofread everything! Mistakes look bad on follow-up notes too
Finally, in our electronic age, handwritten letters attract attention. Send the emails, but if you want to stand out or give extra thanks for an exceptional experience, break out the pen and paper. Sometimes a physical note expresses sincerity better than an email.