By Heather Eagar

The interview thank you letter is a piece of correspondence that will definitely help a good candidate win a position. Think of it as an extension of the interview itself and as a way of emphasizing any positive points that you may have made about yourself and your willingness to work for the company you’ve talked with.

It should be sincere, and informative but it should also be short. Show that you respect the time of the decision maker you are sending the interview thank you letter to. Keep your it down to two or three paragraphs, get straight to the point and keep it businesslike and you’ll have a winner, and may be pleasantly surprised with a good job offer.

Your letter should of course start with the date, name of the addressee, his or her address, and a salutation, like “Dear sir” or “Dear Mr. Jones.” Then get right to the point and thank the decision maker for spending time with you. Remind the decision maker of two or three key points you discussed in the interview or that you may emphasize on your resume. You may do that in a paragraph form, but many people prefer a bullet point interview thank you letter since it allows you to use fewer words and make your points quicker, while graphically using white space to draw the eye of the reader to the parts of the letter you want to be sure they are to read.

The letter should always include a final paragraph that points out to the decision maker that you are available by phone, in person or by email if they have further questions. This shows that you are going out of your way to provide the decision maker with the information needed to make a sound decision, which indicates that you would be a great employee to have.

When you’re writing one, use a computer and word processing software. In the old days typewriters were fine, but these days computers are expected. Format it in a simple block fashion with double spacing between paragraphs. Indentations used to be standard but in the past few years double spacing between paragraphs has become more acceptable and expected. Choose an easy to read font. Times Roman 12 point is a good choice. If you find 12 point too large, then 11 point is fine, but 10 point is too small and should be avoided. If you don’t care for Times Roman, then Bookman or 20th Century Schoolbook are also good choices. These are serif fonts, which means they have little hooks on them. Serif fonts are considered friendlier and more personal than san serif fonts, which don’t have the little hooks. Newspapers and magazines usually use serif fonts for copy because they are easy on the eyes.

Print your interview thank you letter on good quality paper using a high quality printer, and drop it in the mail as soon as possible and you’ll make a great impression.

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