by Brittney Helmrich
It may seem like a simple formality, but sending a thank-you note after a job interview can mean the difference between getting the job and going back to square one.
"I can tell you that only about 20 percent of the candidates send one — and it really brings those candidates to the top of the pile," said Lori Kleiman, a human resources consultant.
But thank-you notes are more than just a polite way to let your interviewer know you appreciate his or her time. If you write your thank-you note the right way, you can use it to reiterate why you're the best fit for the job. In your thank-you note, you can answer questions your interviewer asked that you think you didn't address adequately, make a personal connection with the interviewer, and more.
And even if you don't get the job this time, sending a thank-you note means that you keep doors open for the future. [After the Interview: Sample Thank You Letters ]
"Remember that this may go into your personnel file at the employer, and that even if you are not the first choice for the position, you may get a call about a similar position or if the first choice does not work out," said Linda Carlson, author and owner of small business consulting company Barrett Street Productions.
So how do you write the perfect thank-you note? Follow these 15 expert tips for making sure your thank-you note is successful in every situation.
Tailor it to the company's culture
"Consider the individual interviewer and the company culture before sending your messages. A more traditional organization may prefer a handwritten letter, while a technology start-up may expect an email immediately." – Amanda Augustine, job search expert, TheLadders
Make it personal
"Mention something that the interviewer spoke about personally that was important to them (fishing, golf, kids, etc.) and possibly some of the business initiatives that they brought up. It makes the note more meaningful." – Seth Deitchman, former career coach and financial adviser, The Mercury Group at Morgan Stanley
Show your value
"Don't just thank your interviewer for the time they spent. Provide additional value by giving more details about why the employer should hire you. Be sure you use specific examples [of how] your past performance [makes you a] great candidate for this new job." – Scott Vedder, author, "Signs of a Great Resume"(CreateSpace, July 2012)
See all 15 tips and the complete BusinessNewsDaily article