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Science Careers Blog

January 22, 2010

Tips for the Interview Thank-You Letter

A common tip offered to job interviewees is to send a thank-you letter to the hiring manager soon after the interview session. Catherine Jones in the Job Search Secrets blog now tells why the thank-you letter is a good idea and offers suggestions on what should go in it.

Jones says the thank-you letter will make you stand out from the other interviewees. She cites statistics (source unknown) that only 1 in 10 interviewees send a thank-you letter. If you don't believe the interview went well, the letter will at least raise your profile with the hiring manager. And if the interview did go well, the thank-you letter can seal the deal. Jones also notes that few hiring managers make their decisions immediately after an interview, which provides an opportunity for a prospect to make his or her case in the thank-you letter.

As for the letter itself, Jones recommends that the text have:

- A thank you to your interviewers for taking the time to see you.
- An expression of desire to work for them.
- A summary of why you fit the bill.

Jones adds that a recent candidate remembered a comment in a conversation after the interview about the failing health of the interviewer's cat, and in her cover letter the prospect wished the cat well. This prospect ended up winning the job. While Jones cannot be sure that the good wishes expressed about the cat won her the job, the comment did help raise the candidate's profile, and added a feel-good factor to the decision.

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