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6 Reasons You Should Send This Thank-You Letter After A Job Interview

6 Reasons You Should Send This Thank-You Letter After A Job Interview

The interview’s over, and you’re pretty sure you aced it. Now how do you seal the deal, and convince a prospective employer to follow their hunch and hire you? The answer may be simpler than you think: A well-written thank-you.

Opinions are hotly divided on the topic of the post-interview email. Some hiring managers say they’re a waste of time. Others say a job candidate’s failure to send a thank-you email is grounds for immediate disqualification. What all can agree on, at least, is that a good follow-up email probably won’t hurt your chances — but a bad one most certainly will.

Improve Their Impression of You

In sending a post-interview thank-you, the most important thing to remember is to treat it like an extension of the interview itself. By sending a hiring manager or recruiter one last message, you are essentially asking them to step back into the room with you, even if that room is a Gmail inbox.

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Make sure you recognize that fact, and treat it with the same amount of respect and attention you would ask of them. You need to be confident without being cocky, polite without being sycophantic, and most of all, you should aim to improve upon the impression of you they already have from the interview. Today many businesses are seriously considering their options on whether they want to hire an employee or a contractor, full-time or part time. It’s important to remind your interviewer why they should seriously consider you for the open position – based on your terms.

Phew! That’s a lot to manage.

Luckily, the example below provides a perfect template to start from, according to Dr. Deborah Good of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business.

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Send This Post-Interview thank you letter (1)

    1. The professional tone will safely cover specific requirements for salutations

    It’s difficult to figure out whether a female professional is married or single by just looking at their name. Keeping your greeting professional with the “Ms.” title safely covers both. Determining the recipient’s professional title or designation is important to keep in mind when drafting your letter.

    2. The opening paragraph will grab your interviewer’s attention

    The opening paragraph of the example letter clearly thanks the interviewer, not just for the interview, but also for the pleasant environment they created. Compliments will keep the reader engaged and prompt them to continue reading your letter.

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    3. Your word choice demonstrates your ability to assimilate well with the business environment

    This should be obvious, but be sure to refrain from using slang, lingo and curse words. Use terms that reflect the business environment of the position you’re applying for.

    4. Being direct allows you to keep it “short and sweet”

    Keeping the body of your letter direct will remind the interviewer of specific topics discussed during your interview, without belaboring the point. Your letter should maintain the overall goal of business communication: to be precise and concise.

    5. Specific references to your characteristics will leave a stronger lasting impression

    There is a strong likelihood that your interviewers have conducted numerous interviews with several other job candidates throughout the course of the day. Your thank you letter will help them recall who you are better. Did you mention during your interview that you enjoyed boating? Or that you used to be a bowling champion at age 10? Maybe you found out you were from the same hometown as your interviewer? Mention them.

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    6. The closing paragraph will summarize the overall thank-you letter

    The closing paragraph will summarize the overall letter, but will also clearly mention when the hiring decision will be made. Your follow up letter highlights your professionalism, which will now cause your interviewer to extend the same amount of professionalism to you by responding to you within the aforementioned deadline.

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    Anum Yoon

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    Last Updated on June 18, 2019

    5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

    5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

    It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

    The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

    With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

    5 Types of Leadership Styles

    I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

    The Democratic Style

    The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

    The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

      The Autocratic Style

      The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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      The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

      While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

        The Transformational Style

        Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

        Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

        Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

          The Transactional Style

          Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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          The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

          The Laissez-Faire Style

          The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

          In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

          Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

          You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

          Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

          The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

          Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

          I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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          In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

          What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

          Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

          1. Context Matters

          Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

          2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

          When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

          As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

          “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

          The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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          As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

          When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

          The Way Forward

          To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

          As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

          “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

          The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

          If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

          Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

          Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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