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Momma always said:
— Say please and thank you.
— Always be gracious.
— Treat everyone with respect.

Thank-you letters fall into this broad category of good advice.

In fact, thank-you letters continue to be an important part of a successful job-search campaign. And our advice is to send a thank-you note following each interview you may have. However, the focal point has shifted from simple gratitude to smart marketing strategy.

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Think of the post-interview thank-you letter as a self-marketing tool and a critical piece of the job search strategy. The time you spend fashioning a targeted thank-you letter is time well spent, because some hiring managers will even use them as a tool to narrow down their lists of finalists.

Here are 5 reasons why you should include thank-you letters in your job search strategy.

1. Thank-you letters provide an opportunity to re-connect with employers

Most likely you are not the only person interviewing for a position. By writing a thank-you letter, you are able to develop a rapport with the hiring manager. By expressing your appreciation for the interview, you are able to revisit the reasons why you are the best fit for the position.

2. Following up keeps you on their mind

An interviewee often makes the mistake of believing that if he is the best candidate then the interviewer will remember him and keep him in the loop throughout the selection process. However, this is typically not the case. It’s crucial that the candidate remind hiring managers of their interest in the position and a thank-you letter is the perfect mode for communicating this interest.

3. Thank-you letters give you another chance to sell yourself

While the thank-you letter expresses appreciation for the meeting, it also serves a much more strategic purpose. It provides an opportunity for the candidate to present her skills and accomplishments in another format and to market the value she’ll add to the employer.

4. Thank-you letters give you a chance to talk about what you forgot to say

Many candidates, after leaving the interview, think of other things they could have said during the meeting. Don’t think of this as a negative, but turn it into a positive by discussing these points in the thank-you letter. Remind the reader of your ability to produce similar results for their organization.

5. Thank-you letters increase the employer’s comfort level

A good strategy is to recap a part of the conversation where you and the interviewer shared similar views on a job-related topic. The thank-you letter can also be a way for you to address current issues the employer is facing, and to propose possible solutions. By doing this you are contributing to the company’s success even before you are onboard.

Thank you letters continue to be an important component of a successful job-search campaign. But the focus has shifted from a simple show of appreciation to a targeted self-marketing tool. By creating a letter that validates your candidacy, builds rapport and reminds the reader of your value-added, you can influence potential employers and increase your chances for subsequent interviews or to receive an offer.

(written by: Whitney)

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