Making the Right Impression with a Thank You Letter

Maximize your final opportunity to make an impression with a great job interview thank you letter.

It is surprising how many job seekers spend so much time up front fine-tuning their resume and following career advice, yet somehow forget to send a thoughtful interview thank you letter to say thank you for interview. This missed opportunity could potentially cost you the position.

handwritten thank you noteWhenever someone has taken the time to meet with you about a potential job, it is appropriate to send a thank you letter. Not only is it a courtesy and good business etiquette, but it also allows you to set yourself apart from the competition – one last time. This could potentially be the final bit of correspondence to the employer before they make an offer.

The most important part of job interview thank you notes is thanking the person who took the time to interview you. Since you will be personalizing it for the specific interview, it allows you to highlight some of the positive aspects of the meeting and shows your enthusiasm for working for the company. A well-written job interview thank you letter reinforces to the person that interviewed you that hiring you is a good decision.

Don’t skip this career advice! Write an interview thank you letter!

Prioritize writing a thank you letter after interview and get it in the mail immediately. Within 24 hours is best.

Like all correspondence during your job search process, a job interview thank you letter is a typed letter in business-letter style. However, this one should be a little easier to write than your cover letter because now you have first-hand experience with the person and the workplace to refer to and warm up the letter.

Here are some tips for writing job interview thank you notes:

  • The first step actually begins before you leave the interview. Ask for business cards from everyone you have met with. This ensures you have names, titles, addresses and phone numbers correct. Write separate job interview thank you notes to each person that interviewed you.
  • If you do need to check for the spelling of names or other details, phone the assistant who helped you, if there was one, to get that information. Be sure to send them a brief note, as well.
  • Thank the person for his or her time during the interview. Actually use the words “thank you.” Be genuine, gracious and appreciative.
  • Mention the specific job title that you interviewed for, this helps keep everyone organized.
  • Personalize the letter with details highlights about your conversation and how you feel you would fit into the organization. Be as specific as possible. Take advantage of the opportunity to be personal, insightful and even funny if it fits into the context of the interview.
  • Mention any key insights that you learned, especially if they pertain to value that you can bring to the organization.
  • Mention that you are looking forward to the opportunity to work for the company and hope that you will have the opportunity to work with them soon.
  • If there was anything in the interview that you forgot to mention, you can add it (briefly) in the thank you letter.

Candidates often ask me if it is appropriate to send an email thank you note rather than a more formal business letter. This really depends on the company and personality of the company, and you likely have a feel for that. In some companies, email is the dominant form of communication and this is appropriate. I would recommend following with a more formal job interview thank you letter even if you send an email.

Good luck!

Looking for more tips to help with your next interview? Check out these resources!