Writing a thank you note after a job interview is a key part of the process — don’t skip it. This expression of gratitude is not only good manners, but it’s also good strategy, keeping you top-of-mind with a potential employer. The thank you note is your opportunity to reinforce why you’re a strong candidate and reiterate your interest in the role you’ve interviewed for — not just say thank you!
Use this opportunity to reflect on the position and company, as well as your interaction with the interviewer. Then, keep the following in mind:
The 24-Hour Rule
Since email is now standard practice for a thank you note, timeliness is important. Being prompt, however, doesn’t mean firing off a quick message from the elevator right after the interview, but sending it within same day or early the next is recommended.
While a handwritten note can be a nice extra touch to stand out from the competition, it’s optional. An email, however, is a must! If you plan to send a handwritten note, email one first to avoid the possibility of a hiring manager forming a negative opinion of you due to “snail mail” delays.
Include Job Title
The interviewer may be filling multiple positions, so briefly restating the position for which you’re being considered provides the interviewer some clarity and convenience, which is always appreciated.
Be Reasonably Enthusiastic
While you should convey interest in your message, don’t overdo it. USING ALL CAPS is a bit much, as is ending a sentence with multiple exclamation points!!! If your excitement about the opportunity is heightened after learning details about the position or company, certainly communicate this, but with appropriate restraint.
Your note should be warm and personal, but not overly casual. You’re not emailing your significant other or txting ur BFF, so stick with proper business writing and avoid usage of emojis, abbreviations and slang, KK? 😉 #greatcompany (LOL).
Keep It Short
Brevity is the soul of wit… and what you should keep in mind when writing a thank you note. In a few lines, thank the interviewer for his/her time, succinctly call out elements from your conversation that tie to the unique strengths/value that you bring to the position and why you’re such a great fit. Think about what had an impact on you and briefly express appreciation for what you took away from the meeting.
Individual Messages Every Time
If you met with several people, whether one-on-one or as a group, send a separate thank you note to each person. Group emails come across as lazy and may be misconstrued as a lack of interest in the job and company. Tailor each email so that it reflects the most recent conversation you had and note that you look forward to continuing the conversation (always a nice touch). If you meet with the same person during several rounds of interviews, send a new email each time.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
Not only should you triple check that you spell the recipient’s name, title and company correctly, also read the content out loud to catch mistakes (spellcheck won’t catch everything). If a thank you email is the final impression you make on a potential employer before a hiring decision is made, you don’t want typos and other errors to affect their perception of you!
The thank you note is a simple, yet important part of interviewing that keeps the hiring process moving forward and contributes to the overall impression you make on a potential employer. A timely and thoughtfully written thank you is also important after informational interviews and networking meetings, as it reflects your personal brand and contributes to the lasting impression you make on professional contacts.
As Emily Post, the legendary etiquette expert once said, “To make a pleasant and friendly impression is not only good manners, but equally good business.”