How to Write an Effective Thank You Letter

Thank-You-Note-iStockOur research with legal employers consistently reflects that interviewers are impressed by candidates who take the time to follow-up with a thank you letter after an interview. Yet, employers say that very few legal professionals take advantage of this courtesy.

No matter what position you are seeking, sending a follow-up thank you letter to your interviewer can set you apart from your competition.

Writing effective thank you letters is not easy. It takes time and effort. Even though the message is simple, you don’t want it to be too short nor do you want long, scholarly paragraphs. Be genuine and let your personality come through.

Typewritten notes are best written on your own stationery (not your employer’s). Always send your thank you letter the same day you interview or no later than the following day.

Use this four-step process for thank you letters:

1. Thank the interviewer for the time spent with you and the opportunity to meet with him or her.

For example: “Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you on Tuesday. The time you spent describing the position and the firm environment was greatly appreciated.”

2. Make a specific comment relating to the interviewer or the firm indicating your interest in the position.

For example: “Your presentation of the firm, together with the opportunity to practice environmental law have further convinced me that an association with (firm name) would be a good fit.”

3. Remind the interviewer of the excellent qualifications you bring to the position.

For example: “As we discussed, my experience in advising corporate clients on environment and regulatory issues can contribute greatly to building your environmental department.”

4. Close with another thank you, letting the interviewer know that you value the time he/she spent with you and express your expectation of a follow-up meeting.

For example: “Thank you again for your time. I look forward to meeting with you again soon.”

If you follow these steps, you will be doing far more than your competition. Take advantage of what others fail to do!

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