The Mirroring Technique
The best way I have found to write powerful thank you/after-interview letters is to use the mirroring technique. Essentially, you mirror, match, and repeat back a summary of key points you discussed in the interview.
To do this right, you will want to be taking short notes during your interview. The primary things you want to pick up are:
- What the position’s main challenges are.
- The kind of person they are looking for.
- Anything positive they shared about you and your potential candidacy.
Your thank you letter should consist of short points on problems you can solve, confirmation of matching strengths, and enthusiasm for your next meeting.
Another critical point for thank you letters – and essentially all marketing collateral having to do with your job search correspondence – is: shorter is better. Less is more. State the most important points in a simple, informal (me to you) style, using as few words as possible.
Conversely, letters that are a full page and packed out with text cause your reader’s eyes to glaze over and they quickly lose interest. You can compound this by using a lot of three dollar words and “word salad.” Please don’t fall into the trap of looking like you are trying too hard. Simple is better, no matter to whom you address your letter. The more simple and clear you can make your message, the stronger the connection you will naturally forge between you and your reader.
Three Key Thank You Letter Tips
- If your letter is hard mailed, be sure to sign it in blue ink. Most marketers believe this is the most memorable color.
- If you are sending an email, create a signature line with your name and phone number for easy reference. Anything you can do to make it quicker and easier for someone to reach out to you is key.
- Do you know what always gets read in a letter? The post script. If you have occasion to write one, it’s a good idea. Just be sure that what your P.S. says is meaningful. Don’t use it for soft statements like, “P.S. Did I mention I am a team player?”
Would you like more great interview follow up tips and letter templates? Grab my e-book from The Career Artisan Series: Interview Follow Up – Tips, Scripts & Letter Templates: