4 Things to Look for in a Thank You Letter

So you interviewed a candidate- or 15- and thought that most of the interviews went smoothly. You have to weed out at least three-fourths of the batch and then decide from there. There are a lot of factors that weigh into your decision, though. One, you are looking for competency. “Can this candidate actually get the job done.” That should be a given. Second, you are- or you should be- looking for cultural fit in your job seekers. If you don’t think this person will fit into the company culture, then they probably won’t work out. These make sense, but have you ever thought about a candidate’s thank you letter as holding a lot of weight? If not, you should definitely start using the thank you letter as way of gaining information from a candidate.

You may not have thought about it before, but a candidate’s thank you letter can say a lot. It’s easy to look at a thank you letter as a simple requirement. If job seekers send one, great! They’re on the right track. If they fail to send a thank you letter, then they probably aren’t as excited to fill this position as you are. However, there is much more to look at when it comes to a thank you letter. Let’s take a look at four things you should be mindful of in regards to a candidate’s thank you letter.

Grammar/Vocab Errors
This one is a given. Much like any other document a candidate is sending, a thank you letter should be well-written and void of any spelling errors or mistakes. Silly errors like this show you that the candidate in question did not proofread their letter, which in turn shows you that they do not care as deeply about this position as they should.

Has a Good Understanding of the Position
When job seekers search for tips on how to write a good thank you letter, most of them will say that it is important to bring up the main points of the interview. In other words, aspects of the job they learned from the interview and a good understanding of what is needed to excel in this position. A good thank you letter from a candidate will reiterate the most important aspects and qualifications of the position and also reiterate how they are qualified to fill it. Which brings us to the next thing.

Knows What Skills are Necessary
A strong candidate will know what skills you need from the person that will fill this position and emphasize once again that they have these skills in the thank you letter. If what they emphasize about themselves in the letter is on par with what you need for this position, then it shows you they understand what is important and know they possess it.

Excitement and Enthusiasm
The thank you letter doesn’t have to be full of exclamation points in order for job seekers to show you they are excited about the position you have. They can show you that with their full knowledge of the position and enthusiasm for what they saw in the company or the people that work there from the interview. About.com makes light of the fact that some job seekers are just looking for a job. They don’t necessarily care about your company in particular- they just need a job. This is true and you can likely tell from the thank you letter where this candidate falls.

So you see, a thank you letter is not something to simply glance at and appreciate. It is another thing you can analyze and break down to see if this candidate is really the one for you.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by lovelihood