Writing a thank you letter after you interview won’t necessarily help you secure the job, but not sending one will most certainly hurt your chances. You should write a follow-up thank you letter immediately after each interview, ideally within twenty-four hours. It should be brief and personalized. In your letter be sure to:
- Express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview with the recruiter.
- Express your continued enthusiasm about the position and the company.
- Recap your strengths, being careful to relate them to the requirements of the job and the company.
- Request to meet again.
Thank You Letter Guidance
An expression of written thanks is always appropriate after an interview but should also be given after assistance with job lead information, or a good deed performed by someone to help you in your job search. We consider a thank you letter mandatory after an interview (if you want the job), but it is also a good idea to keep your network functioning well. When people feel appreciated, they will do more for you.
You can send a thank you note in one (or more) of three ways:
- Business letter (Google “business letter format” for how to set it up)
- Professional note card (only if you have good penmanship and use a professional-looking note card)
The first paragraph thanks the recipient for their time or effort. The second paragraph can be used to add something you forgot to say in the interview, or to clarify an answer or statement you provided. If you do not have a statement like that to make, the second paragraph should emphasize your interest in the position and why you believe you would be a good match. The ending should also include contact information.
Send your note immediately after the interview if possible. If it is a job you are particularly interested in, and you want to devote the extra time, you can always send an e-mail right after the interview and then follow-up with a handwritten note or business letter, acknowledging that you have already sent an e-mail. The letter could start out something like this:
Example: Although I already sent you an e-mail last week to express my appreciation for your time in our interview, I wanted to follow-up with an official letter. I know that sometimes e-mails get lost in the shuffle of a busy day, and I wanted to make sure you received my thanks. (Then proceed with more information about what you appreciated about the process, why you are intrigued about the job, or why you are a good match for the job and/or organization).
This double approach accomplishes two things: 1) it allows you to say “thanks” a second time, showing you are extra thoughtful, and 2) it creates “top of mind awareness” getting your name in front of the decision maker one more time. Also, while the e-mail is the most efficient and immediate way to say thanks, business people typically get 100s of e-mails a week, yet they likely only get a couple personalized letters.