I have recently read some debate about the value of post-interview thank you letters. Despite the arguments, I maintain that a thank you letter is a key part of the job search process. In fact – in this challenging job market – the thank you letter has taken on a new level of importance. Below are the arguments against a post-interview thank you letter and the reasons why I think they just don’t hold up.
They should thank me. First, set aside your ego. Now, examine the upsides of the thank you letter. Not only is sending a thank you a common courtesy, it is another opportunity for you to reestablish your interest and highlight your qualifications. In a highly competitive job market, why would you pass on the opportunity to market yourself?
Hiring decisions should be made on qualifications, not thank you letters. This one really baffles me. A well-written thank you letter goes beyond just qualifications and speaks to a candidate’s way of being. Never mind that – whether a customer service representative building relationships with a client base or senior tech leader who is cultivating camaraderie and gaining the buy-in of her team – almost every position requires strong communication and follow-up skills. A thank you letter is a bona fide example of these skills in action.
Thank you letters are old fashioned and frowned upon. This is just not the case. Of course, as with anything, there are a handful of people who think thank you letters are too old school. But how likely do you think it is that someone would remove you from the running for sending a thank you letter? Not very. If you have already made a great first impression, the thank you letter will simply support that impression. Plus, in the unlikely case someone didn’t hire you because they didn’t like that you sent a thank you letter, well, consider yourself fortunate.
Remember, the Internet is littered with people trying to differentiate themselves by passing off fringe ideas as widely accepted truths. However, like with thank you letters, a little common sense goes a long way.
Oh, and speaking of giving thanks. I am thankful for YOU. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season ahead.