11 Tips for Writing the Perfect Post-Interview Thank-You Letter
May 23rd, 2017 Written by: Molly Masterson
Do you want to instantly appear more professional, thoughtful and intelligent than 57% of job seekers? It’s easy. Just send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of your phone or in-person interview.
According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 57% of job seekers don’t send thank-you notes. But failing to send one, even after a screening call, is a gaffe that most managers will definitely notice.
With nearly 50 years of experience in connecting job seekers with great positions and employers, we assure you that time you invest in writing a thank-you note will eventually pay off. With that said, here are 11 dos and don’ts, as well as some thank-you letter examples, to help you draft a letter that will impress the hiring manager and bring you closer to landing that dream position.
What You Should Do
- Provide a professional presentation.
While some job-hunting advisors are fine with handwritten thank-you notes, providing you have good penmanship, we advise always generating them on a computer and printing them on letterhead. You can even use services like Paperless Post to send a thank-you email that mimics letterhead.
- Make it personal.
Help the hiring manager remember the conversation and remind them what a perfect fit you are to the company and culture. Achieve this by recalling what you discussed such as challenges within the position, opportunities and common interests.
- Emphasize your value.
As you recall those key points from the interview, talk about how your skills, experience and knowledge will specifically address them. This makes it easier for the hiring manager to move you forward in the hiring process. They won’t have to expend any effort to explain why you’re ideal for the job.
- Add to your value.
Chances are, you’re going to wish that you had expanded on an aspect of your experience or ability. Just share it in the thank-you letter.
- Overcome objections.
If the interview brings anything up that would make disqualify you from being hired, use the thank-you note to counter it.
- Ask for the job.
Now is not the time to be shy. Let them know that you look forward to hearing from them about the next steps in the hiring process and working for their organization. Then remind them again of why you are the ideal candidate.
- Send a thank-you even if you don’t get the job.
If you don’t get the job, send them another thank-you note anyway to help yourself stand out. Let them know that:
- You’re grateful for being considered.
- You appreciate their time.
- You’re interested in future opportunities.
What You Shouldn’t Do
If you want to have the best impact, thank-you notes should be sent in the first 24 hours after an interview. In fact, we recommend emailing one as soon as you possibly can and then following up with a thank-you letter via snail mail. If it’s a phone interview, an emailed thank-you will suffice.
- Forget to ask for contact information.
Before the interview concludes, be sure to ask for a card or contact information. It’s beyond frustrating to create the perfect thank-you note, email it on time, only to see that it’s bounced back the next day.
- Ignore everyone but the hiring manager.
If you have a conversation with anyone that’s more significant than a casual greeting, they deserve to be acknowledged. Remember, the hiring manager is probably going to be discussing you with everyone you came in contact with.
- Skip proofreading.
Always, always make sure every piece of correspondence with a potential employer has no misspellings, typos or grammatical errors. To catch mistakes:
- Use spellcheck.
- Read it out loud.
- Read it backwards.
- Have someone else review it.
- Copy and paste.
It’s obvious when someone copies and pastes a thank-you note from previous interviews or an online source. If they took the time to interview you, you should take the time to thank them properly – and strategically (we’ll get into that soon). And if you were interviewed by multiple people, don’t send everyone the same letter, since they may compare notes.
Sample Thank You Letters
Example 1: An Email Thank-You Letter
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today about the paralegal position. I am excited about this opportunity because I believe my experience and skills are just what you need to ease the stress your attorneys are under right now.
As I mentioned, I have more than a decade of experience at an Am Law 100 firm and have learned to thrive in a high-pressure environment. Throughout my time there, I have executed critical, time-sensitive research that has helped attorneys win cases worth millions of dollars.
I know what to do and how to do it to make your attorney’s jobs significantly easier. Hire me, and I will make an immediate positive impact.
Thank you again for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Example 2: A Snail-Mail Thank-You Letter
Customer Service Professional
It was such a pleasure to speak with you yesterday about the customer service manager position. I appreciate the challenges you’re facing being short-staffed right now. However, this won’t be an issue for long if you hire me.
As we discussed, I am well-networked in the industry and helped build the award-winning customer-service team at XYZ Company. What I forgot to mention is that during that time I regularly worked extra hours to make sure customer-service needs were covered. I recruited and trained 35 employees, and 32 of them are still with the company two years later. As you know, this is almost unheard of in the industry. I know you are weary of the time and expense it takes to constantly onboard new employees. Expect that to be drastically reduced if you hire me. I have produced impressive results in my six years as a customer service leader.
I would love to work at ABC Company because I believe your product and culture set the highest standard for the industry. I could definitely do my very best work in such a positive environment.
Again, it was a pleasure meeting you yesterday. I look forward to the next steps in the hiring process.
Example 3: A Thank-You for the Opportunity Letter
Thanks for letting me know that the position for the customer service manager has been filled. I want to let you know that I appreciate your positive and professional environment, and my track record shows that I can provide customer service which optimally reflects it. If there are any other customer-service leadership opportunities within your organization, please keep me top of mind.
Thank you again.
Set Yourself Apart from Other Job Seekers
Sending a thank-you letter after an interview is a simple way to not only acknowledge those who took time to chat with you, but also set you apart from your competition, and extend the conversation and help keep you on their radar.
Looking for more interview tips? Check out our Job Seeker Interview Tips section on our blog.