Week 4 Discussion – Thank You Letters

Preparation: Please research thank you letters on the internet.

First Response: Please provide us with the URLs (web addresses) for three sites that you felt provided useful information for Thank You Letters. Then for each site, tell us why you liked this site. Why is a thank you letter so important in the job hunt? Explain in detail. Have you written thank you letters in the past for interviews? What information do you think should be included in a good thank you letter? What and why in detail.  Pretend that you had an ideal interview for a job. Now tell us the types of things you would like to be able to include in a thank you letter for this interview. For example,

As mentioned in our interview, I am Microsoft Office Certified in PowerPoint 2010. Thus, I am confident that I can create effective marketing presentations for any of the products that you would assign to me.

Responses should be at least 250 words.

Second Responses: Please read two of your classmates messages. Visit the sites they provided and discuss the sites provided. What was helpful? Why? What could be improved? Why? Do you agree with your classmates assessment of why thank you letters are important? Why or why not? What would you add to this? Do you think your classmate is highlighting the important skills in his/her letter? Does this thank you letter do an effective job of refreshing the important skills and how the sender fills these needs? If yes, explain in detail where the need and the fulfillment match up. If no, how might you include this information in the letter? Any other suggestions? Responses should be at least 100 words.

First Response is Due before class on Thursday (for t/th people) and by 6pm Thursday (for M/W people). 2nd Responses are due by the beginning of class on Monday and Tuesday.

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22 responses

  1. http://www.avidcareerist.com/2013/06/10/best-job-interview-thank-you-letter-ever/
    http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1154.htm
    http://work.chron.com/important-write-thankyou-after-job-interview-14517.html
    Before attending Interface I had never had a professional interview. I have heard of making a follow up call to check if the position has been filled, but I never heard of sending a thank you letter. After reading the third article, I understand the importance. Anyone knows that after something important like that you always go over the “should have”, “could have” scenarios. The thank you letter gives you a chance to clarify or point out anything you believe you may have missed. It is almost like a second interview in writing. I like the second site because it gives you a point to think about a written letter or an email. It gives pro’s and con’s for both. I know from experience that email can be forwarded: intentional or not. I like the idea of an actual letter. If you have good penmanship, a hand written letter would be cool I think. This site also says to make it short and straight to the point. I don’t like that. It seems too informal and callus. Remember this is your second chance to make that impression on the interviewer. I like the first site because it gives you a huge example of a thank you letter. I think this may be a bit extreme for an entry level position. It has several good ideas that I can work from and make it my own.
    My job I chose is the following:
    ALREADY HAVE A PROFILE? TO APPLY!
    12504530: ORDER DESK CLERK
    Posted: 7/31/2013 Region: PACLAB – Western Washington Location Spokane – GAO Schedule: Monday – Friday; 6:00am to 2:00pm Summary Job Description Create orders as received on a daily basis, providing good customer service at all times. Create new customer accounts in Enterprise, confirming account information is accurate. Responsibilities
    Effective written and verbal communication
    Distribution of supplies and correspondence to various departments
    Ability to handle stressful situations caused by volume requests from both internal and external sources
    Computer skills
    Very fast pace environment
    Effective written and verbal communication
    Distribution of supplies and correspondence to various departments Requirements
    High school diploma or equivalent
    Good telephone etiquette
    Capable of acting independently within limits of job requirements
    PC training and experience
    Effective written and verbal communication skills Preferred education, skills or experience
    I would include that I am MOS PowerPoint certified. That it would be an effective addition to written communication. That I have all of the skills required for this position and I would be a fantastic addition to the PAML team.

    1. Danielle, the first website had some good examples, I liked that it went in detail of each paragraph. Also that the writer of the article was a job recruiter for many years, and this was the best thank you letter she has ever received. It shows how hard it can be to write a good thank you letter and also how important one is too. The second one emphasized how important a thank you letter is. The third one told how much of an impression you can make from beginning; going through the door to till the job is filled. That sending a thank you letter shows that you really want the job and to let them know that you really want it also.

    2. I agree with Danielle on the fact that I had never heard of a follow up thank you letter on an interview. And she also made a good point that the website advises that it is good to put in the last couple “could have” or “should have” scenarios. I would think though that a short and straight to the point thank you letter would be better. I don’t think employers have a lot of time to look thru things of that nature when they are busy so shorter might be better. Ultimately, it would depend on the employer.

  2. http://news.yahoo.com/not-thank-letter-interview-132446106.html. This was the first website that I found and I liked that it tells you what not to say when writing a thank you letter. I like that this site gives you sentences that a lot of people write and tells you to how to write them more in depth. It’s a very informative website and has a lot of great examples. If you are invested enough in a job then you should write a thank you letter. The second website I found was http://damngood.com/ready/exmpl/thank-you.html. This site was so easy to understand. It gives you great steps in writing a great thank you letter. I like that it also shows a really good example of a letter. It says it’s important to write a thank you letter immediately and send it that night so the employer receives the letter the next day or two that was you stay fresh in the employers head. http://www.isu.edu/scholar/thankyou.shtml, this is the last site that I found. I like how in the end it tells you how the employer will check for grammar and appropriateness. This is a college website but still has useful information. So overall it’s important to express your appreciation, not being too overly nice, but just saying thank you for their time so that you stay fresh in their head and it will make you stand out from the rest. It’s important to not make it too lengthy, so that way whoever reads it won’t get impatient and not want to read it. So keep it 3 paragraphs or 2. Having a thank you letter will hopefully assist you in getting the position that you want.

    1. I liked that the first site you chose explained what not to say. Rather it gave examples of how to make an in depth statement. It also stated that you need to back up the statements with facts from your interview. I really like that the second site say it was nice to meet them rather than thank you for the interview. I believe as well that it is important to send a thank you letter right away. Just don’t hand it to your interviewer on the way out. Make sure you put real thought and insight into your letter.

    2. I agree with your pick of websites. I believe that writing thank you letters is very big asset to helping you possibly getting the job. By writing a thank you letter it helps you stand out from all the others applying for the same position. It is very important to make sure your letter contains all the important points about yourself. It also says what kind of person you and how determined you are to being a part of their company. I like how the first website tells you what not to say in the thank you letters. What I find common among all the websites is the importance of mistakes and typos. That in itself tells your possible new boss that you are accurate and pay attention to detail. I agree with you on how important it is to express your appreciation.

    3. I really enjoyed Catherine’s first and second website. Both had a lot of information that most of the websites I seen didn’t have. The structure of the sentences was immense help to me because I’m not a very good writer. I also liked the fact that it said not too wait and send out the thank you letter right away so that you are still fresh in the minds of the employer. Her sites were very informative and easy to navigate. I do believe 2-3 paragraphs are a little overkill on the thank you letter. Short and simple would be much easier for the employer to read and not be too aggressive.

  3. http://www.indianatech.edu/About/HR/Documents/student/10-Tips-for-Writing-a-Thank-you.pdf
    This website showed how important a thank you for the interview letter is and that many people don’t take the time to use it. It seem like the most important things are to send it within 24 hours of the interview to be personal thanking the person you interviewed with. To reinforce that you would be good for the position and why, and to show enthusiasm for the job, also be short and to the point don’t make it boring. Go over once again your key selling points and why you would be a good fit, also go over any weakness and misunderstanding that the interviewer may have, like if you didn’t emphasize what experience you had or any questions that came up.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57581201/5-disastrous-job-interview-thank-you-note-mistakes/
    This website showed the big mistakes that you should avoid making. Like sending a hand-written note with poor penmanship, not proofreading your letter, sending a gift with the letter, just telling the interviewer thank you for the interview and not being specific, mentioning how much you would like to get paid.
    http://www.askamanager.org/2011/08/how-much-do-thank-you-notes-really-matter-after-a-job-interview.html
    I like this website cause I was wondering if it really mattered if I sent a thank you letter or not, especially if you didn’t get the job. But this was good that even though you don’t get the job a lot of interviewer do like to get thank you letter. But here are the reasons you may not of gotten the job even though you sent a thank you letter. You aren’t the best candidate for the job, but if you close to being a good candidate a thank you letter may make or break it for the job. A thank you letter shows the interviewer two things, that you were paying attention in the interview, and that you’re really interested in the job. Which seems really important especially if it comes down to you and someone else for the job you want, so to me no matter how the interview turns out and you get the job or not a thank you letter seems really important.

    1. i really liked your first website. It was simple to understand and its very clear and really helps you understand how to write a thank you letter. i like how they have a link saying thank you letter formula. its important to send the thank you letter very quickly like the website stated. the second website i really enjoyed. i always like reading sites on things what not to do. I feel like sending a gift is a huge no-no. Being simple and not to generic will be way better than going way over the top because then your chances of getting the job is way higher. i also liked your third site for the same reason you did. i never knew that sending a thank you letter after an interview was so important. and this site really makes it clear. When you wrote that it shows you were paying attention in the interview is very true. Employers want that in a future employee. Great blog Sharelyn!

    2. Sharelyn, I really enjoyed your first website. It was very detailed and very helpful in all aspects of putting together a thank-you letter. It really points out the key things to focus on. I too did not realize the importance of a thank you letter. Personally, I have never written a thank you letter but after researching on this topic it sure has brought it to my attention the concept of what it means to make sure that you write one. In your second I liked the five disastrous job interview thank you not mistakes. As with all the websites, proofreading your letter and making sure that there are no spelling errors is very important because it will definitely make you look bad. It would show that you are careless when it comes to proofreading your work and may show lack of attention to detail.

    3. I agree with the websites you found especially the second website where it listed out the wrong things to do, like bad penmanship and spelling. I still would feel more comfortable making one using Word because there is so many different ways to dress it up. Mentioning the pay in the thank you I thought was a nice touch on the stupid meter. Sad thing is there are people out there like that and then there are people who make thank you letters, resumes, and cover letters. I never would use that service not unless I had to out of desperation.
      Jason

  4. http://voices.yahoo.com/why-its-important-send-thank-letter-after-5470
    http://work.chron.com/important-write-thankyou-after-job-interview-14517.html
    http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/5-reasons-to-send-thank-you-letters

    In the first site I really liked the explanation of why writing a thank you letter is important. With the marketplace is extremely competitive I believe it would be your best interest to stand out as a future asset to the company you are applying for. I also think that writing a thank you letter shows respect for the time the company representative took to meet with you and discuss your credentials. It also shows the employer that you are truly interested the job. I agree that the three important steps in the job application process, your resume, the interview and the thank you letter. As stated in this article, I too agree that, the thank you letter is vital because it sums up the reasons why your skills can bring value to the company. I think a thank you letter should include a brief explanation as to why you think you’d be an asset to the company, a recap on your skills which you believe match to their organizational needs, why you have chosen their company, let them know that you look forward to hearing from them, be at their disposal for any further information they may request.

    For example, I would include something like this, “I understand the importance of flexibility and am willing to go the extra mile to get the job done well and on time. I also work well under pressure and am able to maintain a professional demeanor in stressful situations. My strengths include strong organizational and computer skills, the ability to prioritize my work load and to set and meet deadlines. I believe these qualities make me especially well-suited to assume the responsibilities of your position.”

    It should be short and simple. In the second site I liked the related articles suggested. This site was very helpful in all aspects of writing a thank you letter. In the third site I liked the reasons listed for writing a thank you letter. Along with the other sites I chose it helps to know what the importance of sending out a thank you letter really means. It reiterates what all the other sites are saying. Thank you letters are one of key things to remember to do in order to stand out and hopefully get the job.

    1. I really liked the websites you chose. They all really explained in great detail all about writing thank you letters after an interview. I never knew the importance of then until attending college. Sending a thank you letter keeps you fresh in the employers head and thats really important when it comes to a job that you really want. a thank you letter shouldnt be long and bore the employer. i agree with everything in your blog. i liked your statement of what you would include in a thank you letter. It sums up everything in the interview to refresh them. great job. I think that its important to not sound too generic. The employer will get bored and thinks its like everyone elses. but great response. i would say something like that as well. Enjoyed your blog Maria!

    2. Maria, the second website told how important thank you letter are. Like writing one shows respect to the company and especially the person that interviewed you. Also that it show you really want the job and set you apart from others. That you can also add things you forgot to mention in the interview that maybe beneficial to the job. Lastly it says to ask for the job and to let the interviewer know why you would be a good candidate. The last website showed some really good reasons to write a thank you letter. For instant like reconnecting with the interviewer, that writing one will keep you in mind to the interviewer and putting you a head of the crowd. So it seems like writing a thank you letter a very important tool to getting your dream job.

  5. http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/power-post-interview-thank-you-letter
    http://hellogiggles.com/writing-a-post-interview-thank-you-letter
    http://ualr.edu/careerservices/uploads/2010/04/Thank%20You%20Letter%20Guide.pdf

    The web site that I really liked because of how it goes into the importance of having a thank you letter is the first one on my list. I really liked how in depth it went in explaining how resumes as well as thank you letters have changed in the past years because of the competition that is going on in the job market. It says that you need to customize your thank you letter to each person you have interviewed with and that you should include things you have discussed in the interview.
    The second web site I also liked because it was short, sweet and to the point. It was interesting how the person used a fun first date to compare to a thank you letter. It’s funny but I can see myself doing the exact same thing after a really pleasant date! This link says that thank you letters let the potential employer know you are still interested in the position, you are not to be forgotten, and that you are the best candidate for the position. Thank you letters also give you the opportunity to mention things that may help your cause, but that you might have not had the chance to mention during the interview.
    In the third link I particularly liked the section it has on the things you should think about before you even start writing a thank you letter. The questions you should ask yourself like what the employer needs, what are you objectives, a few qualities that you would bring to this employer or job, how can you match your experience to the job, and why you want to work for this particular organization or person. A thank you letter is one of the most important steps in the job search as it keeps the candidates name in the forefront of the employer’s mind.
    I have never written a thank you letter to any of my employers due to the job that I applied for. They basically needed to know what you can do and if you are capable of doing certain thing and you’re hired. So this stuff is pretty new to me, but I intend to use it in my future interviews.

    1. I agree with Slavic and the fact that some jobs are mainly concerned if you have any legal issues and that your in good physical condition and good transportation. But all these letters, portfolios, and a good resume are the tools we need so that were not doing labor jobs. That’s why I went back to school to get a office job. I like the websites he found and the fact that one had an EDU influence it gave a different perspective. It’s kinda cool that there are so many different avenues of information out there for doing research or homework.
      Jason

  6. The first website I looked at talked about the reasons why you should include a Thank you letter with your resume. For example a resume that does not have a thank you letter will not stand out as much as a resume that contains a letter, as we learned with portfolios 52-60% or the portfolio is visual.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5695251_write-thank-letters-resumes.html#ixzz2e3rJTSDH
    The second site was more of the same till I scrolled down a little and found a section on hand written thank you letters, and how that personal touch of hand writing it as opposed to using a template to make one, either way it sounds like they are required if you want a job.
    http://jobsearch.about.com/od/thankyouletters/a/thankyouletters.htm
    Third web site was very informative on how to make one, why you should, and they had a lot of emphasis on the hand written thank you letter. Out of all the sites this was probably the best due to the fact they had everything aspect of the letter on one site.
    http://www.lifescript.com/life/money/work/writing_a_business_thank_you_letter.aspx?gclid=CNmi2KixtbkCFap7QgodrTgADQ&trans=1&du=1&ef_id=Ubu7RQAABRKu4wqW:20130905231423:s
    I feel after reading these sites anyone and everyone who is hiring requires that you include one it sounds like one of those unspoken rules. Considering we are here to learn professional training and looking for professional jobs it would behoove us not to.
    Have I ever written a thank you letter, No- I always just thanked them in person after the interview with a firm hand shake and good eye contact.
    As far as what a letter should contain not quite sure, because you don’t want muddy the waters by repeating what was on your resume.
    “I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and look forward to applying my skills and learning more working with you and your company.”

    1. I agree that a hand written letter gives that extra touch. I do not have that great of hand writing. I think it would be better to type it then maybe write a hand written “Thank You” at the bottom. I also agree about the unspoken rule. Why is it unspoken though? I do feel good about the professional development classes. It is a great experience to feel like you’re getting a bit of the inside track. From the articles that I was reading the thank you letter is not to repeat what is in your resume. It is to point out skills that you possible didn’t cover in your interview. Or to make the extra point of why the skills you have would benefit their company.

    2. I really liked the first website you have here Jason. It’s really easy to understand and it guides you really well in a detailed step by step process of how you would go about creating a thank you letter. In the second link I noticed it said that in a survey some employers prefer a hand written thank you letter rather than one done on the computer. I’m pretty sure that it was a small amount of employers that preferred that since these days pretty much everything is done electronically. I also agree with what you said about repeating things that they have read in your resume.

  7. I had a friend who gave me a tip for job hunting: keep a box of thank you cards and envelopes in your car with you. Make sure you have stamps. Directly after the interview, write a short note on the cards thanking each person who was involved, add in some lines to refresh their memories of who you were, go find a mailbox and pop it in the mail.

  8. For my first website I found http://www.jobssearch.about.com to be extremely helpful. Follow up thank you letters show that you can stand out in a crowd. In some places of work, not following up could potentially cost you the position you may be applying for. In the website it also explains that getting business cards from potential employers so you can keep their contact information. Sending an email to all prospects immediately after the interview is helpful in letting them know you are serious about the position. The second website I found was http://www.law.berkeley.com . This website states that while follow up thank you letters are in fact a good idea, they can possibly hurt your chances as well. If you don’t proofread your letter and make sure there are no errors, it can look bad to the employer. Some places also don’t care if you fill out one or not, all depends on the employer. Also if you are going to be doing this thru email, be very careful it is still very formal. Try to make it personable, resembling something you said in the interview that will not make it seem like a generic email. I found this website to be the most helpful. The last website I found was http://www.avidcareerist.com. In this website it tells you if writing a thank you letter is a good idea or not. She actually puts a copy of, in her opinion, the best thank you card ever and now is sold on the idea. I would put in my thank you letter, that I am proficient in Microsoft, just so they remember why I would be the best candidate.

    1. Yea I agree that not proofreading your thank you letter could do serious damage to you interview and may even cost you the position. So unless you don’t want the position spend a little more time on it and make sure there are no errors and that you put in what you would like to remind the employer, maybe a few of your best skills, no more no less. I’m sure that if a person really wants the job he will put in his/her full effort into to it, so that he/she would stand out to the employer. I believe thank you letter are a good idea. It shows the employer that you are interested in the job and that you have skills that help the company.

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