You have just walked out of a job interview with a sigh of relief — you’ve gotten through the toughest part of the job search process!
However, while you may think that you can sit back and relax, there is one additional thing you should do before moving on: write a thank-you letter or email after the interview.
While it may seem a bit old-fashioned, writing a thank-you letter can make the difference between getting a job and being rejected. Thank-you letters allow you to show that you appreciate the time of an interviewer, and could be enough to sway the hiring manager when they are deciding who to hire.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss how to write a thank-you letter after a job interview, and provide a few tips on how you can write an effective thank-you letter.
Why Should You Write a Thank-You Letter?
There are a few reasons why you should write thank-you letters after your job interviews.
The first reason is that writing a thank-you letter is just polite. It’s a great way to demonstrate that you appreciate the time someone has given you to converse with them. That’s not all: writing a thank-you letter also helps you remind an interviewer of your name, even after your job interview has finished.
Thank-you letters give you another opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates. You can use them to show your character, and also to mention any points that you feel the interviewer should be aware of going forward.
When Should I Send a Thank-You Letter?
You should send a thank-you letter as soon as possible. Ideally, you should send a thank-you letter within one day of having an interview.
Sending a letter sooner rather than later is a good idea because the details of your interview will be fresh in your memory. If you write a letter days after an interview, some details may have slipped your mind, which will make it more difficult to write a good letter.
In addition, waiting a few days to send a thank-you letter may result in you forgetting to write one in the first place. The delay may also reduce the effectiveness of the letter, because if a company has already made a decision about who to hire, they will not be able to take into account the thank-you letter that you sent.
How to Write a Thank-You Letter
One thing should be clear: writing a thank-you note is a good exercise after an interview has been completed. But, how do you actually write a thank-you letter? To help you out, let’s discuss the main points you should mention in your thank-you letter after an interview.
The subject line is only relevant if you are sending an email as opposed to writing a letter, but it is something you need to get right. Simply writing “Thank you for your time” or “It was great to talk with you today” will suffice.
Before you write the body of your letter, you should include a salutation. For instance “Hello, [Name of interviewer]” or “Dear [Name of interviewer” could be used.
You should start the body of your thank-you letter with a sentence or two describing how you appreciate the interviewer’s time. Thank them for giving you the time to showcase your skills, and be sure to mention the job for which you are applying.
“Thank you so much for talking with me today. It was wonderful to learn more about the full-stack engineer role, and to be able to discuss how I can join your team to help improve your web application.” is an example of a thank-you sentiment. This example is simple, clear, and to-the-point.
While you should not think of thank-you letters as a mini-resume, it can be helpful to briefly discuss your qualifications and background. You will already have mentioned these points in your interview, so this section should be kept short.
Remind the company about the skills relevant to the position for which you are applying, and be sure to link it to the job.
Toward the end of your thank-you note, you should provide contact information. Again, the interviewer should already have this information, but by including it in your email or letter, it will be easier for them to contact you with next steps.
Who Should I Send a Thank-You Letter To?
You should send a thank-you note to everyone with whom you have interviewed. For instance, if you were just interviewed by a recruiter, then you should send them a note. Or if you were interviewed by a hiring manager, you should send them the letter.
If you do not have the contact information of the person who interviewed you, ask the person who initially reached out to you if you can have the email address or address of the interviewer.
In the case of panel interviews — where you may have spoken with five or ten people — you should not send a personalized email to each member of the panel. Instead, you should send a thank-you note to the person who led the interview, and CC everyone else to make them aware of the fact you have sent over a note.
Interview Thank-You Letter Templates
To help you write a more effective thank-you email, we have prepared two templates with different styles. Each of these templates should serve as a guide for the thank-you note that you write to an interviewer.
Short thank-you letter
This letter is short, to-the-point, and is a great one to send as a quick follow up after an interview.
Subject: Thank you for your time
Thank you so much for talking with me earlier today. It was a pleasure to learn more about the developer advocate position, and I am excited about the possibility of joining Microsoft to assist you in cultivating stronger relations with developers.
I look forward to hearing from you about our potential next steps. If there is any additional information you need, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detailed thank-you note
If you are looking to stand out even more, you should aim to get more specific in your thank-you letter. Here is an example of a more detailed letter:
Subject: Thank you for talking with me
Hello Ms. Rudd,
I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to come to your office and speak about the position of developer advocate with you. It was excellent to hear about Google’s developer advocate team, and to learn more about how the position would work. The way in which your developer advocate teams are so closely associated with your programming team sounds like an ideal work environment.
The developer advocate role sounds rewarding, especially due to the mentorship opportunities offered by your company. I believe that my experience as a developer advocate at Airbnb, as well as my computer science degree, would make me a good candidate for this position.
I look forward to hearing back from you, and potentially working together in the future. If you have any follow-up questions, do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
Writing a thank-you letter after an interview is a good way to set yourself apart from the crowd, and show that you are grateful for the opportunity you were given to interview with a business.
In this article, we’ve discussed how you could write a thank-you letter or email, but there is another approach worth mentioning that you could use: send a handwritten note.
Handwritten notes take longer to send, so you may want to send a brief thank-you note using our first template, then send a more detailed one through the mail.
Attached to the brief thank-you note could be a sentence such as “I have also sent you a handwritten note through the mail, to thank you again for your time.” Alternatively, you could drop off the handwritten note at the offices of the business.
Thank-you letters allow you to set a positive tone after an interview. By using the templates we have written, you should be able to effectively thank an interviewer for their time, and remind you why you are a good fit for the job.