Candidates who take the time to follow-up with a thank you letter after an interview at a law firm make the best impression on hiring managers and employers. Yet professionals say that very few candidates take advantage of this courtesy, regardless of the industry. Writing an effective thank you letter is not easy though, especially when it’s for a firm you really want to get into. It takes time, effort and thoughtfulness.
Even though the message is simple, you don’t want it to be too short nor do you want long, scholarly paragraphs. Be genuine and let your personality come through. You can set yourself apart from your competition by writing a legal thank you note to potential law firms.
5 Steps to Writing an Effective Thank You Letter Post-Interview
1. Always send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview.
Always send your thank you letter the same day you interview, or no later than the following day. In today’s digital age, email is the most efficient way to send your thank you letter in a timely manner.
You can also take a more personal approach by writing a handwritten note, although it’s not necessary. If you do hand write your legal thank you letter, ensure that it will arrive within a day or two of your interview.
2. Thank the interviewer for their time.
The interviewing process is just as time consuming for the employer. Express your thanks for the opportunity to meet with them and appreciation for the time spent with you. This will impress the interviewer by showing you respect their position regardless of the outcome.
For example: “Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you on Tuesday. The time you spent describing the position and the firm environment was greatly appreciated.”
3. Reiterate your interest in the position and law firm.
Make a specific comment relating to the interviewer or the firm indicating your interest in the position. It’s your opportunity to show a potential employer that you are motivated to succeed. Employers that see you are dedicated to their specific firm will be more likely to give you the opportunity. Try and mention any specifics about the firm within your legal thank you letter.
For example: “Your presentation of the firm, together with the opportunity to practice environmental law have further convinced me that an association with (firm name) would be a good fit.”
4. Remind the interviewer of qualifications you bring to the position.
Chances are you are one of many candidates for a position. Employers can find it difficult to remember specifics for each person. A legal thank you letter is a great chance to reiterate any of the key qualifications you can bring to the position and the law firm. It’s also an excellent opportunity to include anything you may have forgotten to mention in person.
For example: “As we discussed, my experience in advising corporate clients on environment and regulatory issues can contribute greatly to building your environmental department.”
5. Express your desire for a follow-up meeting.
Close with another thank you, letting the interviewer know that you value the time he/she spent with you and express your expectation of a follow-up meeting. This shows employers that you are prepared to move forward. It’s important to be sure it’s not phrased in a way that seems like an expectation, but a privilege.
For example: “Thank you again for your time. I look forward to meeting with you again soon.”
If you follow these steps, you will be doing far more than your competition — take advantage of what others fail to do. After a solid thank you note, you can move on to apply to other jobs while waiting. Check out LHH’s current openings and apply today!