Industry professionals who have spent any part of their careers in executive and senior management positions are well aware of the importance of maintaining a good professional image and always making new business contacts. The habit of writing thank you letters can be beneficial in both respects. Writing a note to thank a colleague or an executive job recruiter not only testifies to your good business manners, but it also indirectly tells the other person that you would like to stay in touch.
Thank you letters are usually sent after a colleague or business acquaintance has done you a favour or helped you in some way, as a way of letting the other person that you appreciate what he/she has done. In this case, the tone of the letter will usually be informal, depending on the degree of familiarity between you two.
There are, however, situations that call for a more formal thank you letter. For instance, it is always a good idea to write a note to say thank you to a recruiter who has interviewed you for an executive job, regardless of the outcome of the interview. Telling the recruiter that talking to him/her helped you gain insight into how business is conducted at the company in question may just be the detail that sets you apart from the other job candidates. You can send a thank you letter either in hard copy or by email if this is the way you usually communicate with the recruiter.
Formal thank you letters typically consist of three paragraphs. In the first, you will usually thank the recipient for something he/she has done that was helpful to you. In the second paragraph, you can briefly inform the other person how he/she was helpful to you or mention any positive results that came out of their actions. In the third paragraph, you can simply reiterate the expression of gratitude. To get a better idea of what a thank you letter typically looks like, see the sample below.
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Here is an example:
London, GB 543-21
Telephone: (99) 123-4567
May 29, 2009
Manchester, GB 123-45
Dear Ms. White,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday to discuss my qualifications for the senior executive role at your firm.
The job interview was an excellent opportunity for me to gain more insight into the day-to-day operations and responsibilities of the role, as well as the way a marketing department is run at a bigger firm in the IT sector. The prospect of putting my extensive experience in the sector to use and making a positive contribution at your firm is certainly an exciting one for me.
Thank you again for your time and for considering me for this position. I look forward to hearing from you and, hopefully, working with you and your marketing team if given the opportunity.