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Composing the perfect thank you letter is very important in your quest for a new career. There’s a lot to consider and if you think otherwise, try sitting down and putting one together in ten minutes. There are so many considerations:

” Email or traditional postal service?

” Dear “First Name” or Dear “Mr. Doe”?

” A professional card or a note on your monogrammed stationery?

Actually, these questions aren’t that difficult, but it does require a bit of forethought if you’re going to pull it off with any level of confidence. Here’s what career coach and EmplomentCrossing.com founder suggests:

Go with the traditional mail service. Email feels too…convenient. You want your interviewer to know the interview was important enough that you handwrote (yes – always handwrite your thank you notes for everything in your life – wedding gifts, interviews and when showing appreciation for someone attending your dinner party) the note, put a stamp on it and dropped it into the mail. Also, and contrary to what some folks believe, it’s not necessary to fill the card with your thoughts. You want to ensure your interviewer knows a few things:

a) You appreciate his or her time

b) You are more confident after the interview that this is a position that would benefit the company and yourself if chosen

c) That the interview was important enough to send a thank you note – even if you both know you’re not right for the job

The reason you want to send a note if you’re not right for the position is you never know when the interviewer will run into a colleague that evening and over drinks mention the fact she interviewed a great candidate who wasn’t right for the accounting position, but that she feels would be a perfect fit in the colleague’s company as a buyer. It’s called networking. Take advantage of the possibilities it opens up for you in your career.

Another point the EmploymentCrossing.com founder makes is to avoid the phone call thank you. Most employers and interviewers agree that it falls short of its intent and it’s even annoying for a candidate to think that their day is less important than receiving a phone call for a “quick thanks for your time yesterday”. It never works – never, ever.

Finally, there’s just something graceful about a handwritten note that’s sent through traditional channels. If it’s a job you really want or one that you know will make you happy – it’s in good taste to send a note. It doesn’t have to be an overwritten group of run on sentences that say the same thing over and over. A simple:

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your time last Tuesday. The interview further convinced me that I’m on the right track. I know I said it then, but I want to reiterate my belief that I can make a significant contribution to XYZ Company.

Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sign the card, include your contact information, address the envelope and send it. It’s really that simple.

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