Tue, 16 Apr, 2019
Have you ever left an interview you thought was stellar only to, days later, get a ‘sorry, no’ response (or worse, no answer at all)? The interview process is a stressful one, and there is only so much you can do to improve your chances. One of the things you definitely should be doing is thank you emails.
In case you don’t know what these are— a thank you email is the note you send your interviewer, post-meeting, to express your appreciation of their time (and, hopefully, getting them to hire you for the position).
Trying too hard? Not really! After all, hiring managers meet countless people when trying to find the right professional. Being memorable, interested, and present is a good move.
Why you should send a thank you email
Every other job hunting article on the World Wide Web preaches, ‘Send a Thank You Email’, but few explain the real reasons behind that action.
It sets yourself apart from the crowd
In a crowded marketplace, you’re up against lots of competition. Of course, you have unique talents and perspectives, but for a busy hiring manager, things might start blurring together after a while.
Besides in-interview strategies like bonding with your interviewer over shared likes and having the right body language, a thank you email is the best thing you can do to make yourself stand out.
Memorable is good. Take all those key points you discussed and the moments of real connection, get them all in text format, hit send. Almost (you’ll have to keep reading to get to the nitty-gritty).
It’s walking the walk
During the interview, you did your best to talk yourself up. Hard worker, professional, great communication skills, detail-oriented. But, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
A thank you email is the perfect time to back up your character claims and prove to your hiring manager that you truly are what you say you are. Remembering the interaction, relating it thoughtfully, and taking the time to write the message will do the trick.
It gives you more airtime
Despite doing your best to cram all your achievements and qualifications in your CV and interview, it’s likely you ran out of space. Or, perhaps, you forgot to mention a detail that could tip the scales in your favour.
But a brief CV and an interview are channels are limited— there’s only so much you can put in there! Now, a thank you email isn’t the place to dump your unpublished autobiography in but, if you strategise wisely, it can become an opportunity to solidify your claim to the job.
What should a thank you email look like?
First, remember to secure your interviewer’s contact details when you finish your meeting, so you don’t have to poke around to find it!
No matter whether you’re interviewing for a huge corporation or an up-and-coming startup, you should always send a thank you email. However, the rules change a little for each of these cases. For example, many paragraphs and a formal tone might be okay for a corporation or a traditional industry but will be odd in the more relaxed world of digital media and startups.
Do keep this in mind— people in charge of the hiring process are typically time-poor. That means: don’t write fluff. Instead, stay friendly and be concise.
On a different note: never copy and paste a template or sample online. If you find an awesome thank you email template (wink wink), make it yours: type down the correct position, names, industry, and dates, as well as double-checking for any errors. Don’t take any chances!
Best Template for a Thank You Email
Here you go! Take this thank you email template and make a star out of it.
First, pick a subject line: Thank you – Interview for (position name) on (date).
Now, onto the text.
Dear (insert the name of the hiring manager or interviewer),
The first paragraph is a summary of the email. It has to live up to its name— give thanks! Example:
Thank you for offering me the chance to interview for (position). Meeting you, getting to know your company, and learning more about the job has been an incredible opportunity.
The second section is geared towards reminding your interviewer of the specifics of your conversation. Here, you should aim to be memorable and to throw in important details and skills you might have forgotten to mention. Example:
In our meeting, we discussed my experience as a (insert job title and a few qualities like ‘detail-oriented’ or ‘creative’). I knew I wanted to apply for this position because I was fascinated by (mention what interests and excites you about the job). From our conversation, I understand that the role includes (whatever you understood the priority to be). I think this is aligned with my skill set and professional goals because (explain how it fits your journey).
The third paragraph is all about connection. After the more information-oriented first part, you want to feed the personal rapport you built during the interview. Mention an interesting detail you remember or something you both bonded over. Example:
It was nice to meet a fellow Star Wars fan, I hope you can get the tickets to the new movie (or whatever)!
The last paragraph— the crucial moment of wrapping the whole thing up neatly and reminding the interviewer why you’re the right candidate. Example:
I’m excited about the goals you are striving for, especially (which goal is your area of expertise?). I believe my qualifications in (elaborate) and my (number) of years working in (industry) make me a valuable addition to your team.
Now, closure! Example:
I very much look forward to working with you and (company name). Again, thank you for this amazing opportunity. If you have any questions for me or need any clarifications, please contact me! I look forward to hearing from you in (the number of days they mentioned) days.
Link to your LinkedIn page
You’ve aced the interview, you’ve clicked ‘Send’ on the thank you email, and now it’s time to wait. By sending this email, you are laying the foundations for an exceptional relationship with the company.
Now, the ball is on their court— the organisation has to decide what to do. Because, with this email, you’re setting yourself apart and reminding them just why you’re so great, your odds are much better than before. And even if they don’t hire you, you’ve established a solid rapport with the interviewer that can be helpful later in your career.
There is no downside to sending a thank you email. In fact, if you do it right and follow our tips and template, it can be a huge professional step. Good luck and get writing!
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