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Follow-Up Letter Follies

The Simple Things Can Hurt The Most

Job Seeker's Story

Beth wanted to provide a personal yet professional approach to her interview follow-up. So she purchased a thank-you card and wrote a short note thanking the interviewer for her time, letting her know that she looked forward to the next step, and expressing her continued interest in becoming a part of the team. She sent it out the afternoon of her interview and received a call a few days later to meet with the interviewer in a group interview.

During the interview she was told that the company had used handwriting analysis on her letter and had concerns about her match. She was taken completely off guard and, although she silently did not agree with their findings, she professionally defended herself against their concerns and provided positive responses. Despite her efforts, she did not get the job.

Job Seeker's Stumble

Handwriting analysis may come as a surprise, but it is more common than you think. In fact, a 2007 survey of Human Resources professionals by the professional association Career Directors International found that 2 percent of companies have used handwriting analysis and 16 percent said they would consider using it.

Further, while handwriting any documentation for a prospective employer could subject you to handwriting analysis, it could also leave you open to misinterpretation. For instance, if your handwriting is hard to read it could leave a negative impression just as much as could dotting your letter “i” with a heart.

Job Seeker's New Strategy

The company you are targeting may not use handwriting analysis, but the bigger picture is to be aware of how your actions could help or harm in every stage of your job search, interviewing, and negotiation process. In the case of the follow-up letter, not only are there risks of showing a lack of professionalism with a handwritten note, but there is also the issue that you will lose out on a critical opportunity to sell yourself by crafting a strategic follow-up letter.

A note lets you say “thank you,” “consider me,” and “I look forward to the next step.” A professional letter, created on the computer, will let you have the space to:

  • • Thank the interviewer for his or her time.
  • • Reiterate your strengths for the position.
  • • Overcome any perceived weaknesses in the interview with a positive spin.
  • • Share information that was forgotten/neglected during the interview.
  • • Inquire about the next step and express interest in the position.

In short, a follow-up letter provides you with a powerful second chance to get back in front of the employer and sell yourself for the job. Do not take this opportunity lightly, because it can be a leveraging point that can make or break your introduction to a second interview.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesJob Search, Job Interview Questions, & Job Interview TipsFollow-Up Letter Follies - Creativity Goes Over The Top And Out The Door, Do Not Shoot Yourself In The Foot