Interview Thank You Letter, aka “The Job Clincher”

If resumes are misunderstood and cover letters are feared, then the interview thank you letter is…a total enigma. But this little job search tool can make a huge difference in your chances of getting hired.

One or two days following an interview, send a brief email or LinkedIn message to each of your interviewers. Executive Career Coach Don Orlando suggests thinking of the interview thank you letter as the “job clinching letter,” in other words, the little note that’ll boost your chances of getting the job offer.

Why bother with an Interview Thank You Letter?

Of course, thank yous are always good manners. And being selected from a pool of who-knows-how-many applicants is definitely something to be grateful for. More important, a post-interview note allows you to reinforce your connection with your interviewer and reiterate key points from the interview.

Highlights from the interview

Use the letter to give an extra fifteen minutes of fame to the highlights from your interview. Did your interviewer seem especially impressed with your story of the time you mobilized a new cross-functional team to launch a new system in record time? Mention that in the letter. Did your interviewer perk up when you mentioned that you love MS Project so much that you use it for weekend to-dos? Mention that in the letter.

Things you wish you had said in the interview

Did you spend the hours after the interview wishing you had thought to mention one more key metric? Did you think of the perfect response just after the interview ended? Use your post-interview note to say all the things you wish you had said in the interview itself.

Problems you can solve

Immediately following an interview, take a few minutes to jot down any problems the interviewer mentioned. Perhaps the interviewer mentioned shrinking sales or growing costs. Maybe you got a sense of personality conflicts or budget crunches.

Now take that information and brainstorm some broad, general ways your specific skills can help resolve those problems. Maybe you’re a great team-builder who creates solutions, never drama. Maybe you have experience guiding organizations through major change. Maybe you bring a passion for budget control and the ability to track every last dime.

Companies hire because they need problems solved. Use the interview as a way to find out more about your target company’s current needs. Then use your follow-up letter to sketch a picture of how you’ll fill those needs.

And if writing your own letter still sounds daunting? Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. A customized cover letter or post-interview letter is one of our success-boosting add-ons at RedRocketResume.