Perfect, your cover letter and resume secured you a job interview; the conversation in the meeting went brilliantly. You’re confident the school is interested in you. Now, you have to wait for the job offer. WRONG.
Don’t stop the campaign yet. It is a known fact; many hiring decisions rest on which candidate sends a thank you letter.
Put the situation in perspective: imagine a school principal undecided between two equally qualified candidates. Then, one candidate sends a well-written thank-you note, and the other doesn’t. Who do you think will receive the job offer?
Aside from the fact that a thank you letter is a marketing tool, it is a common courtesy for job seekers to send a letter to all interviewers after the interview. School principals appreciate those that post a thank you note. It is courteous and makes them stand out amongst the crowd of applicants.
Timeliness is important. It is best to write your letter and send it within 48 hours of your interview. If you wait until a week after your meeting, the school may have decided at that time. Keeping your candidacy at the forefront of their thoughts is essential. That is why sending the thank you letter as soon as possible after the interview is so important.
So how do you create a compelling, unique thank you letter that will show you remain interested in the teaching position?
In a useful thank you letter, there are three or four paragraphs. The best advice is to make sure the letter is unique, not generic.
Address the letter to the person(s) who interviewed you. Include the interviewer’s name, title, school or school district, and complete mailing address. Ensure correct spelling of all names – if you are unsure of the spelling, you may obtain this information from the school secretary or the school’s website.
Overview of the Thank You Letter Content
Express your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and the opportunity to meet. Remind the reader of the position you interviewed for. If they are interviewing for more than one teaching position, this can help remind them of your specific candidacy.
Reinforce your understanding of the teaching job’s requirements and emphasize your qualifications. Include any details you forgot to mention in the interview, if necessary (but be brief).
Information about any research you did after the interview could be relevant to include. Express appreciation for any opportunities presented during the meeting, such as touring the school, meeting other teachers, or reviewing specific classroom situations. Re-emphasize your most essential skills and qualifications and how you expect to contribute to the school.
Only use an additional paragraph if you need to correct any significant misunderstanding that may have occurred during the interview. Alternatively, use this paragraph to counter any objection the interviewer raised about an aspect of your background. Be cautious wording this information. Phrase the specifics positively and assert your ability to perform.
Final Paragraph of Thank You Letter
Express continued interest in the position and the school. The closing sentence would be the place to invite them to call you for a second interview or if they have any additional questions about your candidacy.