When you think of the job hunt, you probably think of searching job boards for open positions, talking to friends about their companies, applying for jobs, phone interviews, video interviews, in-person interviews, the perfect interview attire and of course how to answer the all-important question of why you want to work with the company. But as you think through the process, we bet you forgot to remember the all-important yet often overlooked post-interview Thank You letter.
Frankly, we get it--once most people walk out of the door after their interview, they breathe a huge sigh of relief for what felt like a great interview. But the Thank You letter is a critical piece of the job search puzzle that is not only the polite cherry on top of a great interview, but it’s also another chance for you to express your interest in the job at hand, and why you are the perfect candidate to fill the position.
The Thank You letter also provides a graceful way for you to slip in anything you forgot to mention during your interview--and in the job search, those last words could be the thing that breaks a tie between you and another great candidate.
So basically, you never want to (and never should) forget to jot down and send a Thank You letter after your job interview.
The Not-So-Secret Formula of Great Thank You Letter that Make You Unforgettable
A great Thank You letter isn’t too tough, but it does have a bit of an art form to it. Turns out there’s a pretty solid and basic formula that you can follow to master the post-interview thank-you’s.
- Express your appreciation at their taking the time to meet with you--this is where a bit Thank You comes in.
- Mention something specific from the interview or items discussed to show that you were present, actively listening and actually remembered what was said.
- Note something that particularly excited you about the job.
- Provide a brief explanation of why you'd be a good fit for the job.
- Remember to include your contact info for when they want to get in touch with you.
The Thank You letter is your last chance to show your interviewer why you are the person for the job. Consider adding things like hyperlinks to articles, or anything discussed during the interview, attachments to portfolios, presentations, etc, the URL to your LinkedIn profile, or, if asked during the interview to provide references, now is a great time to include those.
The Great (E)Mail Debate
There’s a lot of talk out there about whether you should send an email or send your note by snail mail. While snail mail
Best Practices for the Thank You Letter
Make Sure to Use Basic Email Etiquette
That means you should be writing subject lines that don’t leave your reader guessing. Make sure your interviewer knows the subject of your email from a quick glance at the subject line.
Timing is Everything
If you push send on your pre-written email as you walk out the door of the interviewer’s office, it’ll be obvious you put no thought into the gratuitous Thank You. If you wait too long, your interviewer may have forgotten about you and moved on to someone else. Sending an email within a few hours to 24 hours of the interview is appropriate.
Express your Interest
Take the opportunity to once again let your interviewer know how excited you are about the position, and why. Nobody wants to hire a half-hearted job seeker who’s only trying to fill a role-any role. Success comes from passion and pride in the work you do. If you’re excited about the job (and you should be) tell them about it.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Like your Resume and Cover Letter, your Thank You letter should be concise and no more than a few short paragraphs. The (hopefully not) last impression is just as important as the first. Be brief, to the point, professional, yet cordial. This will help make you memorable in your interviewer’s eyes--and the memorable ones are the ones who move forward to the next step.
Proofread and Proofread Again
Never underestimate the power of a properly used comma, or using the right form of it’s/its or their/there. A great interview in which you were impressed with your attention to detail might not be enough to ward off the bad vibes that come with a glaring grammar or spelling mistake. So be sure to read, reread and read again before you hit send.
Be Polite and Professional
Politeness is always in style. However, you should always tailor your (still polite and professional) language and tone to the type of company you interviewed at. If you just interviewed at a startup with some hoody-wearing CEO, don’t be overly formal, as they’ll likely write you off as unable to fit in with the culture. However, if interviewing at a law firm or finance company, be sure to write your letter with greater formality.
- Mention your skills and strengths that best match the job opportunity and what you learned from the interview about what the company is most looking for from the person who is ultimately chosen to fill the position.
- Don’t appear overconfident by sounding as if you just assume that you got the job.
Examples of Great Thank You Letters (Samples)
Thank You Letter Sample #1
Subject: Terry Belknap - Interview Thank You
Hello [Interviewer’s Name],
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today about the [job title/position] at [Company Name]. I greatly enjoyed speaking with you and learning more the details you shared about the opportunity.
I was particularly interested in what you shared about [share something specific that interested you about the job]. It mirrored my interests and experiences exactly.
I am confident that the skills I shared with you today will allow me to not only succeed in this role, but to thrive and grow in this position--and I’m excited at the possibility of taking on this new responsibility.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you about the next steps. Don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions.
Thank you again, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Thank You Letter Sample #2
Subject: Terry Belknap - Thank You
Dear Ms. Morgan:
I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to meet with me today to discuss the [job title/position] at [Company Name]. I greatly enjoyed speaking with you about the company’s goals for the upcoming year, and I would love to be a part of it all.
As we discussed, I do believe that my [x years] of experience as a [previous position] in the [specify industry] industry gives me the innate ability to be able to jump right into the role. My [skills] enable me to [address a major duty of the role]. Beyond that, I felt like i fit right with the culture and values at [company name]. I’m particularly excited about [mention something about the company or their culture].
Please let me know if I can answer any questions or provide additional references or information. Thank you again for your consideration.
Thank You Letter Sample #3
Subject: Thank You – Interview Follow Up
Thank you for taking the time to interview me today for the [position] at [the company]. It was a pleasure to discuss the opportunity with you, and I do believe it would be a great fit for both of us.
The [culture, values, etc] particularly stood out to me from the moment I walked into the office. It made it really easy to see myself fitting right in with the team and succeeding in that kind of work environment.
Additionally, I’m excited about the company’s mission of [the mission]. It really resonates with me, and I’d be honored to be a part of furthering the cause.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration today. Please let me know if I can answer any further questions to help in the decision-making process.
These samples can provide an easy template for you to keep on hand for after your interview. We provide the framework, you provide the substance with your experiences, what you took from the interview, and what excites you about the specific position for which you’re applying.
What are you waiting for? Start writing those Thank You letters.
The CareerBliss Team
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