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Career-Finding a Job

Career-Finding a Job

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Published by: huytrankiem on Sep 04, 2010
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06/22/2014

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Wendy Enelow

President
Career Masters Institute, Coleman Falls, VA

Another extremely important part of the interviewing process is
your thank-you letter. Our chapter would not be complete without
a discussion about thank-you letters. No longer are they just a for-
mality; not just a quick, “Thanks for the interview…can’t wait to
hear from you.” Thank-you letters (which I refer to as second-tier
marketing tools) can have tremendous value in moving your candi-
dacy forward and positioning you above the competition. Although
much of what you include in your thank-you letter might have
already been communicated during your interview, there is nothing
more effective than the written word to etch those thoughts into
your interviewer’s mind.

You can use your thank-you letters to

I

Overcome the interviewer’s objections

I

Reiterate your specific expertise as it relates to a company’s
specific challenges

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Highlight your core professional competencies and successes
that are directly related to that company’s needs

Overcoming Objections

If, during an interview, the interviewer raised a specific objection as
to your appropriateness as a candidate, use your thank-you letter to
respond to, and overcome, those concerns. Demonstrate that it is
not an obstacle, but rather an opportunity, and that you are fully
prepared to meet the challenge.

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171

HOWTO“NAIL” YOURINTERVIEWS

For example: You are interviewing for Director of Business
Development for a well-established company in Minneapolis.
Although you are extremely well qualified, they are concerned that
you have never lived in the area and have no network of local con-
tacts. Eliminate their concerns by explaining that your network of
professional contacts is nationwide and, in fact, you know John Doe
of the XXX Company, have a longstanding relationship with an eco-
nomic development director in the area, and so on. Your contacts
will serve to expand the company’s already-established network.

Reiterate Your Specific Expertise

If, during an interview, the company communicated its specific needs,
issues, and challenges, use your thank-you letter to demonstrate how
you can meet those needs and eliminate those challenges.

For example: You are interviewing for Vice President of Finance for
a distressed company that must take immediate action if it is to sur-
vive. They need a candidate with proven success in fast-track turn-
arounds and revitalizations. Consider presenting your experience in
a format such as this:

Highlight Your Core Professional
Competencies

If, during an interview, the company communicated its ideal quali-
fications for a candidate, use your thank-you letter to outline how
you meet or exceed each of those qualifications.

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172

CHAPTER 6

For example: You are interviewing for Director of Technology and
Product Development with a high-tech venture and the company
has clearly communicated its four essential candidate qualifications.
Let them immediately seethat you have those four qualifications
with a letter format and structure like this:

Letter Length

And, finally, the all-important “how long should a thank-you letter
be?” question! Of course, as with anything else in job search, there
is no definitive answer, but one or two pages is the norm, depend-
ing on the amount of information you want to communicate.
Thank-you letters donothave to be only one page if you have valu-
able information to include!

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173

HOWTO“NAIL” YOURINTERVIEWS

Remind yourself that you already have the company’s interest or
you would not have been interviewed, and use your thank-you let-
ter as a tool to close the deal.Remember, the entire process of job
search is marketing and merchandising your product—you. There is
no reason that writing thank-you letters should be any different
than any other part of your job search activities!

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