Gaining a competitive edge after a job fair or interview could be as easy as saying thank you. Many individuals overlook this courtesy. Not only are thank-you notes simply good etiquette, they also permit you to reiterate your qualifications, affirm your interest in the opportunity, articulate your organizational fit and demonstrate your writing ability.
To be effective, the thank you note should be sent prior to the employer making a hiring decision. For this reason, it is best to send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview or job fair. Historically individuals wrote a personal note to the hiring manager. Email, however, has become more commonplace, especially because it can easily be shared with all of the search committee members. Regardless of the format, be concise. Typically the following three paragraphs are included.
FIRST PARAGRAPH: The first paragraph should be used to thank the recruiters for taking the time to meet with you. Be sure to reiterate your interest in the position or organization.
SECOND PARAGRAPH: The second paragraph should provide evidence that demonstrates your qualifications for the position you are seeking. Mention something you learned during your conversation, such as the most important qualification or skill that they desire.
FINAL PARAGRAPH: A third paragraph can be used to mention anything you may have forgotten to discuss. If you did not forget anything, this becomes your closing paragraph. If you are following-up after a job fair, state that you will be monitoring their website or applying online for a specific position that you discussed. Reiterate your appreciation for being considered and thank them again for their time. Mention that you look forward to hearing from them soon and, if appropriate, will be following-up with them.