How Not To Write an Interview Thank You Letter

Alternate title: Wherein Malcolm is a Grammar Nazi Procrastinating Writing His Own Thank You Letter

I know isn’t exactly known for it’s quality content or insightful advice but this should not be the top search result on Google for interview thank you letter.

It was very enjoyable to speak with you about the assistant account executive position at the Smith Agency. The job, as you presented it, seems to be a very good match for my skills and interests. The creative approach to account management that you described confirmed my desire to work with you.

Ok, not a terrible start. But in general, business writing should be much more assertive. First, the job seems to be a very good match for my skills and interests? Do you not know if your skills and interests are a good match for the job? Drop the seems, it weakens the statement of your fit for the position. Second, using the passive voice in the last sentence is awkward. Again, even if you are horrendously under-qualified at least pretend to be Wall Street style assertive. In short write about yourself more like this.

In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position strong writing skills, assertiveness and the ability to encourage others to work cooperatively with the department. My artistic background will help me to work with artists on staff and provide me with an understanding of the visual aspects of our work.

It probably isn’t great to tout your writing skills in such an awkwardly structured first sentence. It is a bit of a pet-peeve of mine but if you are going to list your talents just list them clearly and simply (strengths: 1, 2, 3, and 4). The use of “I will bring to the position” also rubs me the wrong way. The sentence could alternatively be written “I bring” to be both more active and simpler. Also, didn’t you just interview for this position and cover this? I sure hope you weren’t that forgettable.

I understand your need for administrative support. My detail orientation and organizational skills will help to free you to deal with larger issues. I neglected to mention during my interview that I had worked for two summers as a temporary office worker. This experience helped me to develop my secretarial and clerical skills.

I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you about this position.

These two first sentences are both grammatically correct but abrupt; the break should really be removed to flow into the second explanatory sentence. I don’t expect everyone to use the awesomeness of semi-colons but a simple “and” would really smooth those paragraphs out. Detail orientation is another bad, mixed-up passive phrase.

Also, after talking with an actual person and not you hopefully had a personal connection and can be a bit warmer and personable than you were in the cover letter you emailed to those other 143 companies. At least this letter gave me a boost in confidence in the comparative quality of my own thank you letter writing as long as everyone else is using this as the benchmark.

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2 Responses to How Not To Write an Interview Thank You Letter

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