Follow Up Letter, your Secret to Job Success

By: freddy ngiam

An effective way for you to be seen differently from a sea of other qualified candidates is to write a follow-up letter after an interview. Most job seekers neglect to write a follow-up letter, assuming that the interview is over once they leave the office. Well, it isn't. The interview process extends beyond the one-on-one meeting and it is up to you to keep your score as a candidate in the impression or forefront of the decision-maker's mind.

An effective follow-up letter serves two purposes: (1) It reminds the interviewer of your skills, knowledge and capabilities; also, with the number of candidates they are interviewing, it can be easy to get lost in large number of applicants. (2) It demonstrates that you remain interested in working for the company and that you were impressed by the company's system and culture.

There are several methods of making the follow-up letter a force of positivity, including the following:

* Thank the interviewer(s) for the time they took to meet with you and for giving you the opportunity to learn more about the organization and the job position.

* Reiterate your interest in the position and draw the benefits the working relationship can bring for both yourself and the company you are working for.

* Address a concern that came up during the interview or offer additional information to a question that was asked during the face to face interview.

Most job seekers don't follow up because they don't want to do the wrong thing. So instead of risking making a bad impression, they choose not to do anything about their post-interview follow-up actions.
Common questions most job seekers have about following up with employers include:
1) Should I e-mail, hand-write, or type, print, and mail my follow-up letter?Or all of the above?

The answer varies. With so many ways of sending communications, you may have various choices to choose from as to how to send a follow-up letter. Send an e-mail within seven days of the interview. This will ensure that your letter gets read before a decision is made. A handwritten note works well if you have nice handwriting and if you're sending a card with a quick note; one plain and practical way is to send a typed letter through regular mail. The reason being that it is easy to for a decision-maker to delete an e-mail but most likely, a posted letter will end up in your file. Again, a posted-mailed letter is not always possible, so do the next best thing and e-mail the letter instead.
2) After my interview at a company, should I send a letter to all interviewers?

Yes. You should send a letter to each interviewer because each one has his/her own concerns and reasons for participating in the selection process. For example, a direct supervisor may be looking for a staff who would complement his/her position or authority. On the other hand, a peer will be looking for a coworker he can get along with when participating in work activities or when grabbing a beer during Friday night happy hour or outings after office hours. Having two different decision makers means that you can-and should-create two different follow-up letters to maximize your chances of being employed.

Careers and Job Hunting
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