Sending a thank-you letter after an interview might seem old-fashioned, but it’s just as important to write one as ever. One survey from TopResume showed that 68 percent of hiring managers say that a candidate’s decision to include or not include a thank-you note after an interview affects their final hiring decision. But while sending a thank-you note has become expected, it’s not enough to simply send a note that says “Thanks for chatting with me” — you need to put some thought into it. In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a thank-you note that will impress interviewers and increase your odds of getting a job offer.
When to Write a Thank-You Letter
Writing a thank-you note to your interviewers shows that you are gracious, humble and thoughtful — all important qualities for potential new hires to possess. That’s why you should write a thank-you letter after every interview within 24 hours. You don’t want to risk having recruiters or hiring managers think that you’re cocky, ungrateful or absentminded.
Who to Write a Thank-You Letter to
In general, it’s a good idea to share a thank-you note with everybody you interviewed with individually, from recruiter to hiring manager to potential colleague. If you don’t already have their contact info, request it from your main point of contact throughout the hiring process (likely the recruiter), explaining that you’d like to thank them for taking the time to speak with you. If you had a panel interview, you might want to save your time by sending one email to the main interviewer with everybody else CC’d.
If you spoke to many different people — say, you presented to a room of 10 or more — it’s probably not practical, or a good use of your time, to include each and every one of them. In this case, you can follow the same procedure you would in a panel interview: Send one note to the main interviewer with several of the key players CC’d.
Formatting Tips & Tricks
There are an infinite number of ways you can write a thank-you letter. And while there’s no one right way to do it, there are a few tips and tricks you can keep in mind while drafting your note.
Email vs. Handwritten
Handwritten letters have a certain charm, but in most cases, a thank-you email is the best choice. Why? For one, an emailed thank-you can arrive instantaneously, while a postmarked note can take days to arrive. For another, handwritten letters might feel like a bit much. So when in doubt, send an email. Exceptions could occur if a) you’re close enough that you can simply drop off a handwritten letter, b) you’re applying to a very traditional or old-school organization and c) if you have a prior relationship with an interviewer (say, if they were your former coworker at a previous job).
Don’t feel pressured to send a five-paragraph essay — thank-yous should be short and sweet. Just as you don’t want to spend too much time writing one, your interviewers don’t want to spend too much time reading one. After all, they’ve got their own jobs to stay on top of. Make your thank-you letter long enough to cover everything you need to say, but short enough that it only ends up being a few sentences long.
Voice & Tone
When it comes to writing thank-you letters, professionalism is the name of the game. Avoid slang, typos, excessive exclamation points, emojis, etc. But you don’t need to sound so formal that you come off as stiff. Opt for clear, concise language, not the longest word you can find in the thesaurus.
Thank-You Letter Template
According to Glassdoor contributor Caroline Gray, every thank-you letter should express gratitude for your interviewer’s time, enthusiasm for the role and appreciation for learning more about the opportunity and company. The following template does all three — read on to see it in full and learn more about each component.
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me [today/yesterday]. I loved getting to hear about [interesting thing you learned from this person], and was especially impressed by [quality or trait of the company or team that made you even more eager to work there]. Our conversation reinforced my excitement to join [company] and help you all [achievement you would support in this role]. I look forward to hopefully working together in the future.
- Intro: Avoid a generic term like “to whom it may concern,” or something overly formal like “To the attention of Mr. So-and-So.” Using “Dear” plus the person’s first name works just fine.
- Thank Them: Show your interviewers that you’re considerate and appreciative by thanking them for taking the time to get to know you and educate you about the role.
- Get Specific: Mention something in particular that you really enjoyed learning about in your conversation, such as the go-to-market plan for their newest product or their insider perspective on what kind of person thrives at their company.
- Compliment Them: A little flattery never hurts, as long as it’s not excessive. Bring up one thing about the company or the team that you were really impressed by, such as the team’s infectiously positive attitude or the company’s dedication to community service.
- Highlight Your Eagerness: Let your interviewer know that you’re excited about the opportunity, and also show how you would add value to the team.
- Close the Letter: End with a farewell line — such as “best,” “cheers,” “sincerely” or another professional, yet approachable choice — and your full name.
Now, you’ve got everything you need to write an amazing thank-you letter — so get writing, and good luck!