One of the most common questions that attorneys ask me after going in for an interview is whether or not they should send a thank you letter. The resounding answer is "no." Before you ever send one, please read this article and consider the thank you letter pros and thank you letter cons outlined below.
A. The Rationale for a Thank You LetterMany attorneys think that thank you letter is a good idea, and that the pros outweigh the cons. The common reasons they think this are: (1) it shows they are interested in the job, (2) it shows they are appreciative and classy, (3) it helps them stand out from the crowd and be more likely to get hired, and (4) it restates your case.
1. Thank You Letters Show You Are Interested in the Job
2. Thank You Letters Show They Are Appreciative and Classy
3. Thank You Notes Help You Stand Out from the Crowd and Be More Likely to Get Hired
a. Partner gets your resume (and cover letter) from the recruiting coordinator of the firm via office messenger or email;
b. Partner reviews your resume and decides whether or not you look good within 1-5 seconds;
c. You show up for the interview. Partner makes up mind about whether or not they like you by the way you look and what was in your resume within 1-5 seconds;
d. Partner interviews you for 15-60 minutes. May actually change their mind about whether they like you during the interview (10-15% of the time);
e. Partner fills out an evaluation of you in 1-5 minutes and sends back to recruiting coordinator;
f. Recruiting coordinator goes over your reviews from partners and associates who interviewed you and advises the hiring partner of them. Person is ultimately hired or not hired after some further discussion. This could take a day, or it could take months. Firm will be concerned with whether they have the money to hire you, the work to hire you, if your experience is right for the job, if your interviewers liked you, if you are likely to succeed in this position, your potential employment stability, your "fit" with the firm and more.
4. Thank You Letters Restate Your Case
B. Why You Should Not Write Thank You Letters
1. Thank You Letters Make You Appear Not to Have Any Other Options
2. Thank You Letters Give You the Opportunity to Screw Up
As a patent attorney, I really feel Smith Smith & Smith fits in with my goals. I particularly look forward to the opportunity to start getting some litigation experience in addition to doing patent prosecution at your firm.
3. Thank You Letters Can Potentially Polarize Interviews Against You
4. Thank You Letters Can Make You Appear Dishonest or Disingenuous
5. Thank You Letters Make You Appear Like You Have Nothing Better to Do
AGREE/DISAGREE? SHARE COMMENTS ANONYMOUSLY! We Want to Hear Your Thoughts! Tell Us What You Think!!