You’ve worked hard on your job search. By submitting your tailored resumé, preparing for your job interview and then performing well during it, you’ve shown that you’re a good candidate. Don’t lose your momentum. Continue to show that you’re the best choice by sending a thank you letter after your job interview.
Sending a thank you note after your job interview shows that you have good follow-up and communication skills. It also sets you apart from candidates who do not, keeping you top of mind for the hiring manager and allowing you to share your enthusiasm for the role. Finally, thank you notes give you the chance to add any additional thoughts about how you’ll perform and why you’re the person for the job.
“Getting a thank you note after an interview is growing more and more rare, but it does make an impact,” says Sarah Palmer, RPO division president at Hueman, a recruitment process outsourcing firm. “It shows that a candidate is truly interested and helps them stand out. Plus, it shows a hiring manager that the candidate is willing to invest time and attention in their job search, which hopefully carries over into their work ethic as a whole.”
How to Send a Thank You Note After Job Interviews
Many people wonder whether there’s a preference between an email and a hardcopy letter for thank you notes. Both, in fact, do the trick. But rather than choose one or the other, why not do both? Email gives you the option to immediately follow up, while a snail mail thank you note sets you apart for making more effort and adding a personal touch. Formal, business-formatted letters used to be the thing, but more people are going the route of mailing a less formal, handwritten thank you card.
“In the age of everything digital, receiving a tangible, handwritten card is a simple way to set yourself apart from the pack,” says Palmer.
Tip: At the conclusion of your interview, consider asking the employer when they plan to make a hiring decision. This may help you decide whether sending a thank you note via email or snail mail is the way to go.
When to Send a Thank You Note After Job Interviews
Ideally, you can send a thank you note the same day as your interview, so make sure you get the contact information for the hiring manager. Email that person (and recruiter if one was involved) within a few hours of your interview. Be sure to mail your handwritten thank you card that same day or the next due to the time it will take to go through the postal system.
Tip: Keep in mind that the hiring manager may receive your note after a hiring decision is made. Consider signing off by saying that you’ll welcome any future opportunities with the company if they select another candidate for this role.
If you don’t have the hiring manager’s contact information, you can still send a thank you note to the company’s address. Just add “Attention: [Hiring Manager Name]” while addressing the envelope. If the company is large, you can also include the department as part of the address.
What to Write in Thank You Notes After Job Interviews.
Not sure what to write? Overall, keep your note short and simple. As you decide whether to write an email, mail a thank you note, or do both, here are some tips to consider:
- If you have neat handwriting, you can handwrite your thank you note. If not, type it.
- Spell everyone’s names correctly. If possible, plan to get a business card from everyone in the interview before you leave. If you can’t, stop at reception to ask for and write down the correct spelling and titles for everyone.
Tip: If you’ve already interviewed, and it’s too late to do so, then you can try to find names on LinkedIn or the company website. If you do not have any way to check the spelling, then simply write that you hope you’re spelling their names correctly. This acknowledgement will be a thoughtful gesture.
- If you decide to mail a note, keep in mind that it won’t reach them right away. To help them place you, remind your interviewer of when your interview took place.
- Show gratitude. Thank your interviewer for their time, thoughtful questions and conversation.
- Focus on how you’ll make their lives better and what you will bring to the table, not the other way around. Briefly mention something that stood out to you about the role. Then explain how and why you’re both prepared and excited to perform the job.
- Stand out by briefly reminding them of details from your conversation that were particularly interesting or exciting to you, recall any piece of information that made you exceptional, and bring up something that you may have forgotten to illustrate in the interview.
- Close with a nod to next steps: “I hope we have a chance to speak again soon.” Or “I look forward to hearing from you.”
Example of an Immediate Thank You Email
Dear [Contact Full Name],
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on [weekday, date,] about your company’s need for a [job title]. I enjoyed meeting you and look forward to the opportunity to take on this role. As you will recall, my [skill/experience, e.g. ability to help my team meet deadlines] will be indispensable in helping [company do an action, e.g. Initech expand into new markets]. I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.
[Your First and Last Name]
Career Networking Emails
Post-interview thank you notes aren’t the only cases in which you may want to send career- and networking-related emails. There may be times, for instance, when you’re referred to or are introduced to a valuable job contact. Or, you might see someone on LinkedIn who works at a company you’re interested in or has experience you’d like to learn about. Below are various cases that may warrant networking emails – and examples for how to reach out.
Examples of Networking Emails to Those You Haven’t Yet Met
Whether you found someone on LinkedIn, have been referred by a friend or even formally introduced, here are some examples for what you can send via email to build a new relationship.
Dear [Contact Full Name],
I was referred to you by [Full Name] from [Company] in [Location]. She recommends you as an excellent source of information on the communications industry.
My goal is to secure an entry-level position in [industry/field]. I would appreciate hearing your advice on the types of career opportunities in the [industry/field], how to conduct an effective job search, and how to approach job leads.
Thank you in advance for any insight and advice you would be willing to share. Any chance you have time early next week for a telephone informational interview? Thank you for your consideration.
[Your First and Last Name]
Examples of Networking Emails for Those You Have Met
Maybe you’ve met someone at a career fair or other type of event, or perhaps you’ve finished collaborating with someone new and want to maintain the new relationship, building rapport and trust. Following up via email or a LinkedIn message is a good first step.
After Initial Meet-up (e.g. a work or community event)
Dear [Contact Full Name]:
Thank you very much for taking the time to [speak/meet] with me on [day]. I appreciate your advice and direction regarding my career search in [insert your search interest]. I very much appreciate the business contact names you suggested for further research! I have spoken with several of the contacts you provided for me, and I am hopeful I will be able to secure a position in my field of interest soon.
Thank you again for your consideration and guidance.
[Your First and Last Name]
We hope these examples help you feel more comfortable following up with professional contacts in a variety of ways. Doing so will help you build your network, meet new contacts and maintain relationships that can enrich your career.
As you’re searching for a new job, is there anything else you want to know that we didn’t cover here? Let us know in the comments below.