Why And How To Send A Thank You Letter After A Job Interview
Let me start with this, a thank you letter won’t necessarily compensate if in your job interview an employer isn’t convinced that you’re the best person for the role, but it does leave a good impression that speaks to your work ethic and courtesy. Research shows that the most important quality in a new hire is a solid work ethic, followed by being a good culture fit and then integrity and resourcefulness.
According to a study done by Accounttemps, 80% of HR Managers found a thank-you note helpful, yet only 24% of applicants send them. Here is how you send yours, but before I show you how, let’s start with what you don’t want to do or leave out.
A few thank-you note tips that tend to get missed
1. Respect their time by keeping the thank-you letter concise (around 200 words is fine).
2. Talk about something specific from the interview, so it's personalized and meaningful. For example, something about the corporate culture – this will re-emphasize why you’re a good fit or a response to a question you asked about the interviewer.
3. Mention the job position.
4. Proofread your thank-you letter – Grammarly is a free resource that corrects errors.
5. Send your thank-you letter on the first business day after your interview.
6. Use a simple, short subject-line, such as “Thank you for your time, (insert the name of the person you met with,)" "It was great speaking with you, (insert the name of the person you met with.)"
7. Make sure your use of words convey enthusiasm.
What some of these tips look like in action?
Hello (Interviewer’s Name),
Meeting with you (yesterday/the day you met them) was definitely a career highlight, and it was exciting to see how you are (insert something from your conversation that showcases them as a market/industry leader) in our industry.
I wanted to take a second to thank you for your time. I enjoyed our conversation about (a specific challenge you discussed that is also one of your strongest selling points) and how you would benefit from my background in the role of (insert job title.)
It sounds like an incredible opportunity to have a positive impact on (their greatest challenge). Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need anything else from me.
Thanks again, (insert the interviewer's name), and I hope to hear from you soon.
(Your Name) – your branding statement
A few other points about this letter
The person’s name is mentioned twice. In the classic book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie shares “a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Remembering and using one’s name in your communication is a good social skill to practice.
The letter has a good balance of what they are doing well and what they need to improve on as a company.
A branding statement is included. You’ll want your branding statement to include two components:
1. Your key job function in the role or the title of the role you’re applying to.
2. Your most impressive quantifiable accomplishment from the past 12-months.
Here’s what that looks like:
Sarah Jane – Top 0.01% facilitator transforming 1000 + learning experiences
Bill Smith – Project manager, pioneering company-wide efficiency gains by 27%
Other great thank you letter phrases
It was a pleasure meeting you, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the opportunity as well as (insert a response to a question you asked about them).
During our conversation, you mentioned that (name of company) has been struggling with (describe a problem the company is having). Please find the plan on how I’d address (insert their biggest challenge) in the first 30-days attached.
This is a good phrase to use if you feel there may be some concerns around the relevancy of your experience and your ability to hit the ground running.
According to research by MRINetwork, 77% of job openings are created because of new positions. Employers won’t hire you if you don’t understand their need. Don’t forget to reiterate that you understand why the role exists (what the challenges are), briefly remind the interviewer why you’d be the best candidate and further illustrate your commitment to the role. You've worked hard to get to this point, and I wish you all the best.
This article was first published on my Forbes column and was featured on the channel page.