4 Tips for Writing an Unforgettable Thank You Note or Email

You’ve just killed it in your interview.

You’ve deftly handled the hiring manager’s questions, expressed your interest in the position, thanked your interviewer, and now it’s time to wait – right?

Almost! There’s still one critical step to complete before you consider your work done:

Send a well-timed thank you.

Why do you need to send a thank-you note or email after a job interview?

Technically you don’t need to…unless you really want the job. Here are a few reasons this small step is so essential:

  • Most job seekers fail to do it. By sending a simple message of thanks, you instantly distinguish yourself as thoughtful, professional, and genuinely interested in the job.
  • It keeps you top-of-mind with the interviewer. Sending a note or email can help you make a positive and lasting impression on your interviewer – and may tip the scales in your favor.
  • It keeps the conversation going. If you structure your message the right way, you can pave the way for the next steps (such as placing a follow-up call).
  • You get another opportunity to make your case. If you forgot to mention an important detail about your qualifications or want to recap what makes you the most qualified candidate, the thank you gives you one more “at bat” to stand out.
  • It provides you with a sense of control. After a job interview, it can be tough to sit back and wait to hear from an employer. Reconnecting is a productive step you can take to reassure yourself that you did everything within your power to land the job.

4 tips for writing an unforgettable thank you note or email:

1. Get the timing right.

Draft it as soon as you get home (while the interview is fresh in your mind). Send your thank you within 24 hours of the interview.

2. Choose the right medium.

What’s the better format for a thank you: note or email? It depends on the situation. If your interview was in-person and you know that the hiring manager works on-site at least part of the time, a handwritten note can stand out. If the work environment is 100% virtual, you’ll need to send an email. Before you leave the interview, it’s always best to confirm the best way to follow up – and then contact your interviewer via their preferred method of communication.

3. Craft a thoughtful message.

Here are a few tips:

    1. Customize the letter. Use the interviewer’s name, step into their shoes and address the points that seemed most important to them.
    2. Reiterate your thanks for the interviewer’s time and your interest in the opportunity.
    3. Get the tone right. Mirror the interviewer’s tone in your writing.
    4. Briefly restate your case. Review your qualifications and identify relevant accomplishments or experiences that you did not mention in the interview.
    5. Offer to answer any questions the interviewer may have.
    6. Keep the content brief. Your message should be no more than 3 paragraphs.

4. Set the stage for additional follow-up.

Close your note with verbiage letting the interviewer know that you look forward to hearing from them. Reference what you discussed about the hiring timetable and next steps (e.g., that you will follow up again in a week, or that you’re excited to schedule a second interview).

Looking for a job?

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  • improve your resume and interviewing skills;
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Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.