Thank You Notes
A thank you note is a way to demonstrate your interest, your passion, and your appreciation. Most candidates don’t send them, so you will stand out if you do. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written note.
Send a thank you within 24 hours of the interview (phone or in-person). Employers often make decisions very quickly (even if they don’t tell you for weeks). You want this note to positively impact their decision.
Hand written notes are traditional, but email is more practical and can arrive quicker. Use email.
Keep your note short and concise.
If you met with more than one person, you can send the same note to all of them without changing the text.
Start your note with “Dear Ms. (Last name):” or “Dear Mr. (Last name):” Even though you’re sending it via email, it is still formal. The tone is similar to a cover letter, but usually more personalized because you've now met the person you are writing to.
- 1-3 sentences thanking them for the interview and reminding them that you remain very interested in the position.
- 2-4 sentences about what you learned about the job/responsibilities/company and how those things are a good match/fit for what you are looking for and/or who you are/what you have to offer.
- In this section, focus on your skills & talents and how they match with what you learned during the interview. Don't focus on how much you really, really want this. Everyone really, really wants this. That is not what sets you apart from other candidates. What sets you apart are your skills and experiences. The employer knows you really want it because you'll say it in paragraph # 1 ("I remain very interested in this (descriptive word here) opportunity." and in paragraph #3: "I look forward to hearing from you." Don't say it again.
- 1-3 sentences thanking them for the time/consideration and that you look forward to hearing from them.
Prepare a thank you note BEFORE your interview. Start a draft, but don't add the recipients’ email address until the very last moment: No accidentally sending it early! Get the formatting set up, your opening lines & closing lines. Do the easy stuff. Then, after your interview, fill in the middle portion with the personalized elements, put in the email address, and hit send.
The more you can personalize the letter and reflect back on the conversation/interview, the better. Be careful, however, and don’t get too informal or familiar. A quick and concise reference to something you talked about is great. And entire paragraph is not. Never use emojis.
Don’t send your resume again, unless you know they don’t have it, or you talked about it with them and they asked you to send it.
Double and triple check your spelling and grammar to make it perfect.
These examples can give you an idea of what thank you notes look like (please do not copy the language, but use them as a starting point). Your thank you should be specific to the position and your own skills and experiences.
Dear Mr. Lentz:
Thank you for inviting me to interview for the Research Technician position. I enjoyed meeting you and Dr. Nichols, and am excited about the possibility of joining you in the Devlin MacGregor lab.
Working on the Provasic trials would be an opportunity to delve into cutting-edge research, and I think my previous experience as a research aide at UVM would give me the tools to succeed in this project. With my background in lab protocols, classes in pharmacology, and prior experience working in a pharmacy, I feel comfortable working in a lab environment and would be ready to jump right in to work on clinical trials. Having worked both with teams and on independent research projects (and enjoying both), I would feel comfortable doing both kinds of work in the Provasic lab.
I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to interview me, and look forward to hearing back about the position. Please contact me if I can provide any additional information.
Dear Ms. Fowler:
Thank you for meeting with me this morning. I enjoyed hearing more about the Digital Content Internship opportunity and Stay Puft’s big plans for expanding their brand. It seems like an exciting time for Stay Puft’s marketing team, and I would love to be a part of the effort to help spread the word about your products.
As I mentioned in the interview, this past year I have dedicated my efforts to the Quiddich team’s social media outreach efforts. As our Media Manager, I developed an online strategy to tell fans about our matches, and used Twitter and Snapchat to build our fanbase. I used Google Analytics to track visits to our website, and increased our traffic by over 20%. I developed the skills to engage our fans, and would look forward to similarly engaging fans of Stay Puft.
Thank you again for speaking with me and sharing more about your plans for the upcoming year. I look forward to hearing from you about the internship opportunity.
Dear Mr. Bulsun:
Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and your colleagues during my interview on June 16th. I enjoyed our conversations very much. Please convey my gratitude to your colleagues with whom I also met. The ninth and tenth grade English position at Bethesda-Chevy Chase sounds both exciting and challenging and I felt a strong connection with the students, teachers and administrators with whom I met throughout the day.
The ninth and tenth grade English position has many of the qualities I am seeking as I begin my teaching career. From a cooperative teaching team, to students who are eager to learn, to supportive administrators, this position offers many outstanding teaching and learning opportunities. Additionally, I feel strongly that my teaching experiences and other professional experiences will allow me to make a positive contribution to your school and community. I am very excited by the possibility of teaching in and becoming a member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase community.
I would be happy to provide you with any further information that you might need. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for your time and your consideration.
Last modified August 26 2016 02:51 PM