An impression of you is conveyed every time you make contact with a prospective employer, not just during an interview. You want to ensure that your lasting impression is one of professionalism. An important aspect of the job search is to appropriately express your appreciation to those who took time to meet with you. Professionalism and good business etiquette prescribe that a thank you letter be sent anytime you interview, whether during an informational interview, an in-person or telephone interview.
Thank You Letters
• Send thank you letters IMMEDIATELY (no later than a week) after an interview or contact.
• Send them to each person with whom you spent a considerable amount of time. If your visit was arranged by a recruiting coordinator who you met and talked with, it is wise to send that individual a thank you letter as well. If you met with an interview panel, you could send one letter to the lead person or most senior person and include a sentence asking that they please convey your appreciation to the others on the panel.
• You also should send a thank you letter to someone who referred you to an employer, as well as the person who has provided a letter of recommendation for you.
• Thank you letters, besides thanking someone for taking the time to meet with you, are a good time to clarify something from your interview and to reiterate your qualifications and commitment to working with that employer. Be sure to include specific reference to the conversa- tion to assist the interviewer in recalling who you are and demonstrating that it was a meaningful experience.
• Highlight something that went par- ticularly well in the interview (“I really enjoyed our conversation about”), or add something that you forgot to mention (“After the interview I realized that I failed to mention a research project that I am working on that you may find interesting . . .”).
• A thank you letter is generally short, perhaps only two paragraphs.
• Employers differ on whether typed, handwritten, or email thank yous are preferred. For something like OCI where call back decisions might be made quickly, send a quick email, but it can never hurt to also send a formal, written thank you.
When accepting a position, confirm the details such as a start date, salary, benefits, any other conditions in writing, even if you have already accepted the offer verbally.
• This correspondence need only be sent to one individual at the organization, but others can be copied (cc:) if you deem that appropriate.
• You may want to write a second letter to an individual who was particularly influential in your decision to accept a position, and acknowledge their impact in your decision, as that person may become a future mentor or friend.
• If you wish to decline an offer that has been extended to you, send a letter to the person conveying the offer. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and let the individual know that you valued the opportunity to meet with them. In declining you may wish to note that the decision was a difficult one to reach and that you hope to work with them in the future. Letters to Withdraw from Consideration
• Send a letter to an employer stating that you wish to withdraw from consideration for the position. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and let the individual know that you valued the opportunity to meet with them.
• If you wish to leave the door open for future possibilities, you may wish to let them know that you accepted another offer and with whom.
• If you are under consideration for a judicial clerkship, it is imperative that you immediately send a letter withdrawing from consideration as soon as you have accepted another offer or know that you are not interested in clerking for that particular judge.
New Titles in the CCS Library
• The FBI Career Guide: Inside Information on Getting Chosen for and Succeeding in One of the Toughest, Most Prestigious Jobs in the World
• How to Build and Manage an Entertainment Law Practice The Career Education Institute has recently released the following publications in their Internship Series:
• Internships with America’s Top Companies 2007
• The Sports Internship Book 2007
• Legal Services Internships 2007
• Human Rights Internship Book
• Fedlaw-Internships with Federal Legal Agencies 2007
Check Out These Websites
Non-Traditional Legal Careers Report:
UF Law now subscribes to an online publication that is released about the first and fifteenth of each month. The Oct. 1 issue lists positions for 38 states for law clerk positions with entry-level as well as lateral openings advertised. The focus is on non-law firm postings in business, education, government, legal publishing, legislative and policy, public interest and international law. To access, contact CCS for the password and user id and then go to http://www.nontradlegal.com/.
ABA Career Counsel Website at http://www.abanet.org/careercounsel. The site offers job search Q&A and over 300 pro-files of attorneys in 57 practice areas and alternative careers.