The Importance of a Follow-up Letter
The importance of a follow-up letter cannot be overstated. You’ve spent countless hours developing your resume/LinkedIn, targeted the appropriate decision-makers, effectively applied for positions, and finally landed an interview. The interview seemed to go very well; however, two-weeks later you receive notification that you’ve been passed for the job. You shrug off the bad news and repeat the process to land another interview. Again, the interview was great and you really felt a connection with the employer; yet, a week later you receive notice that you were not selected for the position. What can possibly be going wrong?
The most important thing that you can do after an interview is to email/send a follow-up letter to the people you interviewed with, specifically the main decision-maker. Glassdoor (2017) published a collection of employer data gathered from sources including Bersin by Deloitte, KPMG, Edelman, Gallup, and Glassdoor themselves and demonstrated that the average corporate job attracts 250 resumes. Of those 250 resumes, four to six people will be called for an interview and only one will be offered the job!
Reason to Not Hire You
Rather than examine every single resume to see why a candidate should be considered for the role, recruiters are trained to quickly identify why a candidate should NOT be considered. If you were one of the lucky four to six candidates called in for an interview and didn’t get offered the role, it is very possible that by neglecting a follow-up letter or simply emailing a generic “thank you for your time” is why you got passed. UpToWork (2017) gathered up-to-date hiring/recruiting statistics and indicated that recruiters said 37% of resumes will get rejected if there is no follow-up with the employer after an interview.
Make the Connection
Follow-up letters will keep you fresh in the mind of the interviewers and you will be viewed far more favorably than those candidates who fail to do so. A strong follow-up letter will make a connection with you and the interviewer, give you an opportunity to ask more questions, remind the interviewer of your skills/qualifications, and entice the interviewer to want to call you back for a second interview.
You should consider it mandatory to include an effective follow-up letter, specifically addressed to the decision-maker, after every interview. Remember to keep the follow-up letter short and to the point and give the interviewer a reason to call you back by offering something of value (such as a solution to a problem or presenting an innovative way to do things) that you believe can help the company increase efficiency, increase profits, or save money.
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