Thank you letters are still essential to modern-day interview etiquette. Most employers will appreciate a thank you letter, if not, expect one. A survey from CareerBuilder found that nearly a third of hiring managers would think less of a job candidate who didn't sent a thank you note, and almost 15% wouldn't hire someone who didn't send a thank you.
Like cover letters, thank you letters are your opportunity to reinforce the strong impression you made. Therefore, apart from a strong resume and sharp interviewing skills, sending a thank you letter is one of the most important steps in impressing a prospective employer – and increasing your chances of a follow-up.
For cancer survivors, sending a thank you letter is especially beneficial, because it gives you the opportunity to "swivel" an employer's impression of you back to the relevant skills and experience you have, rather than your diagnosis (if your diagnosis was mentioned in your interview).
However, for a thank you letter to be effective, it needs to be well thought-out and personalized, not generic. Here are a few tips from The Muse and Careerealism to help you write an impressive and thoughtful thank you letter:
Format & TimingThe most important aspect of the thank you note is actually how quickly it is received, not whether it was an email or a hand-written letter. So, with speed top priority, sending an email is usually the most efficient. But you still want to send a hand-written card, there are to ways you can do so quickly:
- Send a short thank you email and mention a card is en route
- Quickly write a letter in the lobby or car after your interview and leave it with the receptionist for the interviewers (this will also help in writing the letter since the topics you discussed in your interview will still be fresh in your mind)
Seamless, Specific & PositiveYour thank you letter should seamlessly link to your interview conversation by reiterating and elaborating on some of the specific topics you discussed. You can do this, for example, by addressing how your skills will benefit a new project that the interviewer mentioned. Also, like your cover letter, a thank you letter is a tool designed to get you another interview (or the job), so you'll want to highlight your qualifications for the job and leave out any weaknesses or references to your diagnosis.