What to Consider When Writing Thank You Notes

Interview Thank You NotesSaying thank you is an important part of the interview process. You are thanking your interviewer for being gracious with their time and considering you for an important role in their organization. Thank you note mistakes can ruin your chances to get that next job. Let’s take a look at some thank you note essentials.

Thank You Notes Must be Mistake-Free

Once you commit to writing a thank you note, it needs to be perfect. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are incredibly important. Have somebody else read it over if necessary. There are no excuses for mistakes on a thank you note and an error will hurt your chances of getting the job.
Thank you Notes Must be Unique to the Recipient

Writing a generic thank you note or the same note to multiple interviewers is tacky. At best, these notes fail to connect with the reader. At worst, your interviewers will share them and realize you didn’t take the time and effort to make them unique. Don’t fall into this avoidable trap. Instead, use the thank you note to forge a bond and give one last plug for how you think your skills fit the position.

Thank You Notes Must be Concise

While thank you notes are vital, avoid notes that are too long; it shouldn’t be a book. A few short paragraphs will suffice! Consider this easy template.

1) Thanks for spending the time with me…
2) I am really interested for these reasons…
3) I think I am qualified for these reasons…

Also, it’s important to mention something unique about your interview, a mutual friend, mutual interests, or something humorous that may have happened during the meeting. Finally, let them know you are looking forward to next steps and possibly try to overcome any known objections in a sincere and honest fashion.

Thank You Note Form, Handwritten or E-Mail, Must Fit the Situation

Let’s say you write perfect and personalized thank you note. Does it matter if the hiring manager doesn’t read it in time?

I know a candidate who did not get a job because her competition had sent a thank you note by email and she had mailed hers; the hiring manager thought she didn’t write a note. This isn’t to say that email is always the way to go, but you should be mindful of the timing of thank you notes in your particular job search. Hand written notes are appropriate for job searches that take a long time. Email notes are appropriate when you are interviewing for a temporary role that is moving quickly. A good rule of thumb is to send an email unless you can mail out your handwritten notes within 24 hours. Some people even do both.

Saying thank you is important, but it needs to be done the right way. Make your thank you notes perfect, personalized, to the point, and be sure to send them in the right format for the particular job. These details could be just the thing to get that next job.


Guest Expert:

Scott Foley is a Principal of Winter, Wyman’s Boston Accounting & Finance Contract Jobs division. Scott blogs to provide strategic job search advice for candidates as they make their next career move. To learn more about Scott and the contract finance and accounting jobs he is working on visit www.winterwyman.com. Winter, Wyman is one of the largest and most recognized staffing firms in the Northeast, currently serving clients in the New England and metropolitan New York job markets with additional technology contracting capabilities nationwide.

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Comments

  1. hi scott,

    I have always written thank you notes or thank you emails and indeed they have helped me stand out from the competition and most of the time get the job. so am 100% in agreement with you.

    regards,

    @jinanalrawi

  2. I love your website and often refer to your advice.

    I believe I have found the perfect job for me. I have all of the qualifications for the position. I have submitted my resume to an online website, followed up with a phone call to the hiring person, resubmitted my resume and work samples directly to this person, then three days later sent an email again requesting an interview. I would like to know the next best step.

    Can I just show up at the office and offer my services? Should I call again to ask for an interview? I don’t know if they have even scheduled interviews yet and I don’t want to overwhelm them with requests, but
    there is so much competition I wouldn’t want this opportunity to slip away!

    Any suggestions?

    Sincerely,
    Cheryl

  3. Great tips on writing thank you notes! I like the point about sending both handwritten and email notes. This is a very effective tactic. Send a quick “thanks for the opportunity / I’ll be following up soon” note via email within 24hrs, then write and mail a note that is more personal. Connect with the hiring manager or recruiter, and remind them why you’re unique and qualified for the job. Make sure if you’re sending to multiple interviewers that you tailor to each. You’re right – they DO compare notes.

    One thing that you didn’t mention is the fact that most people DON’T follow up. Period. Simply doing so could really make a positive impression and help you land the job. I once worked for a company where the recruiters actually pinned up the thank you notes to their cube walls when they received them. The unfortunate thing is that there really were very few to post – hardly anyone took the time to follow up.

    Great tips. Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,

    Kirk Baumann
    http://www.campus-to-career.com
    @kbaumann

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