Whether or not to send a thank you letter to a prospective employer is highly debatable. Several human resources experts believe it’s an unnecessary exercise that can prove counterproductive.
Others aver that a thanking letter would-be employer signifies excellent personal and corporate etiquette. That it can play some role in bagging the job.
Personally, I’ve never as much sent a single thank you letter throughout my career. Not that I’m ungrateful to my interviewers. Honestly, I never as much thought about sending a thank you letter after a job interview. Never.
However, in today’s competitive world, sending a thank you letter after a job interview may make some sense.
Purely due to the existence of this wonderful, ubiquitous facility we know as email. Because email makes sending thanking letter after a job interview easy and fast.
But first, let’s examine the pros and cons of sending a thank you letter after a job interview.
Let’s start with the pros.
Pros of Thank You Letters after Interview
A major advantage you have nowadays is the ability to send email from any location. Therefore, a smartphone can also be used to send a good thank you letter within a few minutes after you’re outside the interviewer’s office. A thank you letter can also be sent later from home or cybercafé.
However, ensure you never send such a letter from your current workplace.
Sending a thank you letter after the job interview is a clear indicator that you possess excellent workplace etiquette. Written properly, the letter conveys your appreciation for the time and effort of the interviewers.
And to some extent, it does tilt the balance in your favor to get that job, when compared over other candidates that don’t send a thank you letter post-interview. However, this can be an exception and not a rule in general.
If your interview, resume, qualifications, and experience are impressive enough, a thank you letter may help influence the outcome in your favor.
But watch out, a thanking letter would prove useless if your application has fallen flat due to poor qualifications and experience.
If there’s a third party such as a recruiter, a thanking letter can help a lot. The recruiter would refer you to other companies where you can find excellent jobs.
Last but not the least, a thank you letter after job interview signifies good etiquette- something that lots of interviewees lack nowadays. It makes you stand out from other candidates for the same post.
Cons of Thank You Letters after Interview
Sending a thank you letter after an interview has some major drawbacks too. Especially if there’re several applicants for the same job.
Nowadays, walk-in interviews are very common. Usually, spot decisions whether or not to hire a jobseeker are taken during walk-in interviews.
In such cases, a thank you letter wouldn’t really help much except maybe impress the employer that just dismissed your application.
Another major cons of a thank you letter after an interview is company clauses. Often, an employer won’t entertain any correspondence from a jobseeker post-interview.
And that covers thank you letters as well. In such cases, you could be in breach of the ‘no correspondence’ clause and could lose the opportunity that was almost yours.
In some instances, a thanking letter can be misconstrued as a cheap gimmick to influence the interviewer into giving you special consideration over other worthy candidates. It may appear like apple-polishing the interviewer to give you an unfair edge.
What to Do Now?
Given the above pros and cons, it would be fairly difficult to gauge whether or not to send a thank you letter after the interview. Therefore, let’s consider certain elements that merit a thank you letter.
- Send a thanking letter only if you know the proper name of the interviewer. If they’ve handed you a business card that indicates their name and personal email ID, then you must send a thank you letter.
- The very fact the interviewer has given you a business card somewhat implies you might get the job.
- If you’ve got an interview call by email that clearly states the name of the sender, send a thank you letter to this person also.
- Also, you can send a thanking letter to this sender, thanking them and the interviewer for their time and effort. But make sure the email isn’t an automatically generated ‘No Reply’ type.
- Sending a thank you letter after an interview is absolutely necessary if you’ve reached the venue later than your scheduled time.
- In such cases, the interviewers were kind enough to overlook your delay and yet interview you. They’ve also provided you a fair opportunity to compete for the job.
- It’s good etiquette to send a thank you letter after an interview if you fare poorly. After all, you’ve wasted time and effort of interviewers and resources spent by the employer on screening your application and sending an interview call.
- You mightn’t get the job. Yet, a thanking letter can do considerable damage control for your reputation. This is essential because you may have to apply with the same employer at a later date.
- Should you have provided wrong information due to a genuine error during an interview, it’s best to correct the same through a thank you letter.
- Nowadays, lots of companies resort to something known as Employee Background Check. They outsource this service from various independent contractors.
- If the information you’ve provided at an interview doesn’t match with EBS findings, you might not get that dream job.
- However, ensure that you apologize and state correct reasons for providing wrong information. This proves very helpful in setting the record straight and can help avoid disqualification for the job.
Sending Thank You Letters after Interview
It’s best to send a thank you email. Never use the general email of the company: instead, look for those of specific employees as I said earlier in the article. Furthermore, keep your title a bit different.
Emails with ‘Thank You’ and similar other words on title usually land in the Spam folder.
If you’re one of those rare people who’d have to send a thanking letter after an interview by mail, remember to use high-quality paper for printing.
Better still, send a short, handwritten note since it lends a more personal touch.
You can refer to thank you letter samples to send after the interview. All you need to do is fill in the relevant details.
Ordinarily, a thanking letter is an echo of the bygone era when applicants were few and time taken to select candidates would often stretch for a fortnight or month due to slower communication methods such as postal system.
However, it does make sense to send them, since it might serve some purpose and generate goodwill.