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After you have interviewed for a position, you must take time to say thank you. And you must do it NOW. This letter should be sent within 24 hours of the time you have the interview. This letter must be professional. This is not the time to send the traditional 'store bought' thank you card.

If you are no longer interested in the opportunity, you must let the interviewer know that in your thank you letter. Simply say that after considering employment opportunities, you have found another position that more closely matches your interests and career goals. Do this with great courtesy. It is possible that this same employer may have a wonderful opportunity for you in the future.

If you remain interested in the position, you will want to influence the decision of those who will select candidates for additional interviews or for job offers. Therefore, this letter generally should be sent as soon after the interview as possible. Many successful candidates suggest that this letter be sent the same day as the interview.

Remember the names of individuals you talked with so that you can refer to them in your letter. The typical content of this letter is outlined below:

  • First Paragraph - Indicate your gratitude for having had the opportunity to interview for the position. When possible and appropriate, name people with whom you spoke. Be sure to name the position for which you are applying. Remember that many employers have multiple searches being conducted concurrently.
  • Middle Paragraphs - These are sales paragraphs. Be sure to reiterate your unique qualifications and strengths. Through this letter you have the opportunity to supply information that was not covered during the interview or to emphasize a point you made but that the interviewer may not have noted. You may never again be able to make these important points, so use this letter to your best advantage.
  • Last Paragraph - Restate your sincere interest in the position. Thank the employer for his or her time and indicate that you look forward to a response in the near future.

This letter is not simply a courtesy but a sales tool. It refreshes the employer's image of you. If an employer is trying to decide between you and other candidates for the same position, this may be the added thrust that will encourage the employer to bring you back for additional interviews or offer you the position.

The online example shows an acceptable style for your professional correspondence. Note that your return address at the top of the letter lines up with the closing and your typed name. The inside address should be identical to the address on the envelope. The 'greeting' should use Mr., Miss, Mrs., or Ms. with the last name of the person to whom the letter is written. A colon (:) should be used after the greeting.

The 'closing' may be stated in various ways: Sincerely yours, Very truly yours, Sincerely. Note that the first word is capitalized and the other words are not. The 'closing' is followed by a comma. Allow enough space (usually four lines) between the closing and the typed name for your signature. Remember, centering the letter on the paper makes it more attractive.

Resources

If you need an accessible format, please contact the Career Development Center at (812) 941-2275.

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