Sending the perfect thank you note after a job interview is crucial! Maybe you didn’t grow up sending thank you notes to every relative who sent you a package, but sending one after a job interview is expected and definitely works in your favor!
Sending the right thank you note after a job interview makes you stand out. That’s important when you’re competing against others and increases the positive impression that you made at the interview. If your interview was perhaps on the fence, think about this as a way to tip the tables in your favor – even after the interview is over. Who can’t use a bit more of a positive impression?
Don’t have time for the whole article? We broke down the basics for a fifty-second video:
Actually Say Thank You
You’d be surprised how many “thank you notes” don’t have the words: thank you! They come in the form of “just checking in” or “keeping touch” or “touching base with you”. None of these are a good idea. They don’t further your cause nearly as far as actually writing the two words this note needs. This may sound obvious, but you want to write “Thank you for your time” in both the email title and as one of the first sentences of the email itself.
Writing “thank you for the interview” sounds a bit like “thank you for doing your job” and less personal. You’re saying thank you for them interviewing YOU, as opposed to not contacting you at all. Hiring managers look for thank you notes after an interview, and it can absolutely sway them one way or another.
No matter what way you decide to phrase it, make sure you include the words “thank you” in the email title and in the first few sentences in the email.
Why You Should Personalize Your Thank You Note
Hiring managers understand that people who are looking for work often use templates or the same resume for every job. The trouble is when those same people who “will do anything for a job” also can’t be bothered to personalize either a cover letter or a thank you note. This hurts your chances of getting hired.
Personalizing your thank you letter shows multiple things, all of which the hiring manager wants to see:
- You don’t have a thank you note that you send to everyone
- You were paying attention during the interview
- And you actually want the position
Address Your Thank You Note To That Person
Address the email to the person using their name. “For Whom It May Concern” kills any personalization.
Don’t just use their name – make sure you spell it correctly! Double-check and triple-check the spelling, because a misspelled name feels also insulting. Each generation comes up with new ways to spell names, so make sure you’ve got this person’s name, either first or last, absolutely correct.
You can find their name on the email you received from them, your past notes, or check on LinkedIn if you’re not fully sure, as you should definitely remember the name of the company.
Confirm That You’re Still Interested
It’s not just a job interview for your skills, but also if you can see yourself going there each day. Was the commute tolerable? Can you picture yourself talking to this manager on a regular basis? What did you think of your workplace, the other people, your general impression?
Every company wants to hire people who want to be there! While it may be obvious to you that you want the job, it’s not always obvious to them. After all, they’ve been making that commute, dealing with this place, work, and coworkers for some time. Make sure they know that you’re still very interested and available to do the job!
Highlight Your Best Qualities
If you thought of other things you could have said during the meeting, now is the time to do it. Remind them of your abilities and your desire to work there.
Why skills do you have that would come in handy for the position? Do you have past experience? Have you expressed interest in the opportunities of expanding your skills while doing this job? Now is the time to remind them!
Whether it’s your transferable skills from your last job or life decisions, your learned skills, or your life skills that you acquired along the way, it’s important that the hiring manager understands how you can contribute. Choose the most relevant ones and mention those in your thank you note.
Mention Topics You Discussed During the Interview
The more you can connect with the hiring manager while in the interview is important, but also to remind them of that connection afterward. If you have specific experience that they’re looking for or you hold a license that they asked about, make sure to bring that up again. The more you can show that you’re a good fit for the company’s goals and culture, the better impression your letter will make.
Close With Mentioning the Day They Said They’d Update You
The majority of hiring managers have a habit of expressing by what day they expect to know who they’re hiring. You probably remember this because job interviews are much more nervewracking for the person being interviewed, and not for the person doing the hiring. It’s entirely possible that the person who is doing the hiring may not remember exactly which day they said they’d get back to you. It’s nothing personal, just human error. Sliding that little comment in can remind them to give you an update.
Be Sure To Proofread
The last thing you want is for a small error to undo all this hard work! Take a short break after writing it to clear your head, and then come back and read it. Check for grammatical errors, which spellcheck can’t do for you, and make sure you’re using the right homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently, like how “two”, “too”, and “to” mean different things).
Again, check the spelling of the person’s name and email address. You don’t want to send all this hard work to the wrong person!
Send It Within One Day of the Interview
If you’re competing against a whole bunch of people or even no one at all, it’s important to email this thank you note as soon as possible. Sending a thank you note after a job interview is not just reminding them how great you are, but also why they should hire YOU. It’s best to send it within one day’s time of the job interview itself. You don’t want them to confuse you with anyone else, so strike while the iron is hot!
Sample Thank You Note:
Subject Line: Thank you for your time
“Dear Mr. Madden,
Thank you for your time yesterday afternoon. I greatly enjoyed discussing the marketing position and appreciated learning more about the marketing department.
It sounds like a rewarding role, especially with the room for growth. I think my experience in analytics and graphic design make me an ideal candidate for the role.
Our discussion of possible projects going further, specifically using video and graphics, make this position particularly interesting.
I look forward to discussing this opportunity again and hope to hear from you next Thursday. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any more additional information about my references or portfolio.
By now, you should be all set to fire off that thank you note after a job interview!
Need more tips and tricks?