3 Tips for Writing Follow-Up Letters after Interviewing

What's your timeframe for an interview follow-up letter? Try to transmit your follow-up letter within 24 to 48 hours. But when you're in a swarm of candidates for an easy-to-fill job, recruiter Jenny Foss (Job Jenny) suggests that if you really want to wow them, send your letter immediately after the interview: "Same day. From your laptop in the parking lot."

So, what's the best method for sending your letter? Check out the whys and hows of the three basic ways:

  • E-mail: In this digital age, so many people send after-interview letters by e-mail that it's no longer unusual. If the company's workforce uses e-mail heavily, your e-mailed follow-up will be a fine cultural fit, with the subtext that you're one of them.

    E-mail's also a good choice when you know the hiring decision is going to be made quickly. But hiring timelines are growing longer; today's job seekers understandably complain about long, drawn-out hiring decisions.

  • Typed and mailed: For high-end jobs, consider responding with a typed, dead-tree-industry letter. You can send it by postal mail or, if time is short, via an overnight delivery service. The letter can run two, even three pages if it is flush with white space and easy to read.

  • Handwritten: Some people swear by handwritten notes. But even when the penmanship is good, a handwritten social note doesn't readily lend itself to the requirements of a sales tool when you're up against tough competition in a crowded labor market.

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