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Should you send a thank you letter after a job interview? A career expert explains

An answer to the etiquette question you’ve always wanted to know.

Job interview etiquette is a bit of a minefield. How do you answer ‘What are your weaknesses?‘ What questions should you ask an interviewer in return? Should you send a follow up thank you letter?

While there are a whole host of responses to the first two questions, a career expert has waded in on the latter, to give those hoping to land a new job a clear guide of whether you should send a thank you email.

Ellie Green, Jobs Expert at Totaljobs UK, says that the first thing you should do after an interview is relax, and try not to stress yourself out too much. Then consider sending a thank you letter.

“It may seem a bit old fashioned but remember the vast majority of people don’t do this, so you can instantly set yourself apart from other applicants,” she tells Cosmopolitan UK. “When you think about it, you’re competing with hundreds of other people when you send in your CV and cover letter. After that, only a handful get invited in for an interview. So, take every chance you have to give yourself a step up over the other candidates.”

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A thank you letter could be the difference between you getting the upper hand on your fellow candidates, or not standing out at all.

So what exactly should you say in a job interview thank you letter?

Jobs Expert Ellie advises a short and concise email, which replicates the tone of their emails to you, and follows the general format of:

Remind them of who you are

“If you felt the interview went well and you’d like to send a thank you email, then it’s best to include the job title and your name; e.g. “Sales analyst – Jane Smith” in the subject line,” she says.

Thank them for their time, replicating their tone

“Keep the email short and sweet but it’s important to mention you’re thankful for having had the opportunity to interview. If you’re unsure how formal you should be, all you need to do is match the formality of the emails you’ve received from the employer so far. If they’ve used ‘Hi’, you can use that informal tone too. If they’ve used something more formal, like “Dear”, best to be safe and use the same greeting.”

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Remind them of something that went well in the interview

“If there was a particular part of the interview you thought went really well with the interviewer(s), there’s no harm in mentioning that too. Then, in no more than 10 words, add a line emphasising your enthusiasm for the role and the employer.”

Expand on other areas you perhaps weren’t so happy about in the interview

“If you mentioned a specific skill in your interview and you think the hiring manager would be interested to know more, add an example. It could be a sample of your work that shows you’re perfect for the role.

“If you had a minor stumble, or if you said something you felt wasn’t quite correct, then now’s your chance to set the record straight. But remember, it’s best to keep it brief. Set the scene of the topic you’d like to correct, then outline what you wish you’d conveyed at the time.”

Just be polite

“If you’re really struggling with the thank you letter, Totaljobs has a handy template to help guide you. At the end of the day, you’ve spent so many hours applying and preparing for a job interview, it only takes a few more minutes to write a quick thank you email – it could ultimately make you an even more memorable candidate.”

Sorted? Sorted.

This post first appeared in Cosmopolitan.UK

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