Job seekers may underestimate the power of sending a simple, well-written thank you letter after a job interview. Some think that employers don’t expect or appreciate a thank you and wonder whether it is worth the effort.
Apparently, employers disagree. A recent survey of 300 employers shows that 80 percent describe the thank you messages they received after an interview as either somewhat or very helpful; yet, only 24 percent of candidates bother sending a letter.
Expressing gratitude is a highly effective strategy
Some people embrace the practice of expressing gratitude with a few well chosen words whether by letter, email, by LinkedIn message or endorsement. It can be an effective way of making a lasting positive impression and reminding people of your thoughtfulness and likability.
During the job search process, there are many opportunities to express gratitude. Acknowledging a helpful administrative assistant, a resourceful network contact, a referral to a job, or even your employment counsellor can be a valuable way of solidifying a relationship that may serve you for a long time into your career.
Writing thank you letters during job search as well as after interviews
Thank you notes are almost always a good idea. Whether the interview went well or not, whether you got the job, or even whether you don’t want the job, that should not impact your decision to write a thank you note. If a person has dedicated time and effort to help you with information or spent time considering you for position, send them a note. That includes the person who conducts the pre-screening interview on the phone.
Think of it as paying it forward; feeling appreciated is a powerful force that strengthens your ties to others in your network.
Tips for writing a thank you note after an interview
- Send your email as soon after the interview as possible – preferably within 24 hours.
- Keep the email brief, well-punctuated and carefully spell-checked.
- Send a separate email to each person who interviewed you. If you cannot, at least mention each interviewer by name.
- Remind the reader about the job title and day of the interview – either in the email subject or in the email itself.
- Thank the person for their time and effort.
- Restate your interest and enthusiasm in the position and the company.
- Briefly point out why you are a good match for the position.
- If you can, personalize the note in some way, such as thanking them for a special tip they offered, a conversation that was had, or a comment they made.
- Offer to answer any further questions or concerns the employer might have. Include your cellphone number to make it easier.