Writing thank you notes

After an interview, good or bad, it is common to send a proper thank you letter for the job interview. While many people have a difficult time with etiquette, you can view the thank you letter in different terms.

The Sales Piece

Viewing the thank you letter as a sales piece helps not only with the writing but also with adding to the presentation you are giving which started with the resume and job interview. For a proper thank you letter to be effective there are a few guidelines which can help:

  • Keep the letter informal and informative
  • Keep the focus of the letter on the employer
  • Keep the tone subtle, not overly pushy

Fundamental rules of sales apply when writing a thank you letter as well.

  • Keep the product in front of the buyer
  • Show the product as a useful part of the company
  • Detail the benefits of the product
  • Offer a response time where you ask for a decision
  • Thank the buyer for considering the product

How This Works

A proper thank you letter for a job interview can help achieve many results if written well.

  • You can comment on what you like about the company
  • You can comment on why your skills benefit the employer
  • You can express interest in the position
  • If there was an unanswered question, or needed information, you can supply it here
  • You keep your name and potential in the mind of the employer

As a word of caution, proper thank you letters for a job interview should not begin sentences with 'I'; and should limit the mention of 'I' as much as possible. The interview was about providing a solution to the employers problem, not what they can give you.

The Structure

How do you write a proper thank you letter for a job interview?

  • First paragraph - a simple one sentence thank you including the day of the interview.
  • Second paragraph - a two or three sentence paragraph noting your qualifications as they relate to your knowledge of the company
  • Third paragraph - these last two sentences are a good place to remind the employer of the time frame for their hiring decision. You should also express appreciation for the meeting and express interest in working with the company.

Personal Touches

As with any sales material, the message should try to focus on the individual or personality the product is attempting to reach. In this case a proper thank you letter for a job interview can be emailed but will provide more individualized and thought out if mailed.

If the company seemed informal, consider using a handwritten letter on clean white paper. Use legible handwriting and proper grammar when doing this.

If the interview is with a group or different people throughout the day, get each persons name and write an individual thank you letter to each person as they will each have a vote if you are hired.

While using a thank you letter for a job interview is considered proper etiquette, using it as part of a marketing approach will not only make the task easier to handle, but also give you an added push to getting the job.