Purpose: Students identify the elements of strong thank-you letters and incorporate these elements into their own letters.
1. Students recognize the value of thank-you letters.
Explain to students that even after they have left an interview, there is still more they can do to increase their chances of landing the job. Ask students to identify a step that they could take to impress an interviewer. (Students should say they have to write a thank-you letter.)
Tell students that the best time to write the letter is immediately following their meeting, while the details of the interview are still fresh in their minds. They should send out the letter a day or two after the interview.
Ask students to identify the purpose of writing thank-you letters. Establish that thank-you letters are an opportunity for students to emphasize their strengths as they relate to a job, add any information that they may have forgotten to mention, express appreciation to the interviewer, and reiterate their interest in a job opening.
2. Students identify the parts of a thank-you letter.
Distribute the “Interview Thank-You Letter” activity sheet to each student. Ask students to study it carefully and identify the parts of the letter.
Help students identify the heading, inside address, salutation, body, complimentary closing, and signature. Students should also recognize that they should use a computer to write their thank-you letters.
Distribute the “Parts of a Business Letter” activity sheet to each student. Read the explanations out loud. Explain to students that they are to keep and use the handout to help them write business letters in the future.
3. Students examine the content of a thank-you letter.
Explain to students that a good thank-you letter has the following content:
- A thank-you comment
- Confirmation of interest in the job
- Reiteration of how the student’s strengths and talents relate to the job
- Any further information that may be helpful or important
- A specific reference to the interview
- A statement confirming the student’s willingness to answer any other questions
- Follow-up information about where and when to contact the student
Ask volunteers to read the corresponding sections from the sample letter.
4. Students write a draft of a thank-you letter.
Instruct students to use the remaining class time to draft thank-you letters to their role-playing partners from Part I.
Explain that they will revise and polish their letters in the next session.