Put your best professional foot forward during your job search
Prior to your job interview, you did your research. You dressed for success and headed to the interview. You used your experience and knowledge gained in the classroom to answer questions confidently. You left the interview feeling good, so now all you need to do is wait to hear back from the interviewer, right? Actually, no. You should always follow up with a thank-you letter. Whether you have never had to write a job-interview thank you, or you've penned several, here are some helpful hints to writing one that a potential employer will really appreciate.
Snail mail vs. email
According to this Forbes article, it really depends on the industry in which you are interviewing. For example, anyone who is interviewing for a job in the technology field should send an email thank you. For the health-care industry, it could go either way. If the interviewer continually points out the technological tools they use to keep their office or department running smoothly, it might be best to send an email. If you are interviewing at a small doctor's office where they say the pride themselves on old-fashioned, personalized service, it might be more appropriate to send a hand-written note. While at the job interview, pay attention to these kind of clues that will speak to the personality of the organization and help you decide which to send.
Whether you are hitting the send button or dropping the letter in a mailbox, be sure to do so within 24 hours of your meeting. Also, send a letter to each person who was involved in the interview.
What to say and how to say it
What you write matters. While it should reflect your personality, you should always maintain a professional tone. Do not use texting language. You can certainly look on the internet for letter templates, but don't simply copy and paste the wording of those letters. Make it your own. Be polite and brief: thank the person for his/her time, reiterate why you want the position and one or two of your qualifications, and include a detail or two from the interview to show that you were engaged in the conversation.
Your letter should begin:
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
and end with:
Your first and last name
Proofreading is a must
Always proofread before you hit send or seal the envelope to make sure your note is free of typos or grammatical errors. If you can, have a friend or family member proofread it as well. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes sees a mistake quicker than ones that have been over the letter a few times.
You've studied hard to succeed in your chosen career. You've gained great experiences through externships. You've prepared well for job interviews. Continue to be the best professional you can be by always sending a thank-you letter after an interview. It may just land you the job! Good luck!
This post is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, NH. Visit us online to learn more, or reach out to schedule a campus tour!