You’re in the job market and looking to advance your career. Congratulations!
It can be a daunting (something that tends to overwhelm or intimidate) task to find a job, but here at Magoosh Speaking, we have the tools you need to be successful in your search. That’s why we’re so excited to help you with your endeavors!
In this article, we will review a job seeking tactic that is sometimes seen as old-fashioned, but guaranteed (especially in the current market) to make a good impression on any potential employer.
Now, it’s more important than ever to master the art of the job interview thank you letter.
Why is a Job Interview Thank You Letter So Important?
For starters, the post interview thank you letter (or note, as it is sometimes referred) is a way to help an interviewer remember you after the interview. After all, employers are interviewing sometimes dozens of candidates for a position. You want to do anything you can to stand out from the crowd.
Not only does it make you stand out, but it’s also appreciated. Remember the last time you did something for someone and received a thank you? How did that make you feel?
In addition, employers see it as a reflection of your character. If this is how you treat them before you’re employed, it’s likely to carry over to your treatment of co-workers and clients should you take the position.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s an article from Forbes Magazine that explains why the job interview thank you letter is not dead. In addition, CareerBuilder released statistics stating that over half of job interviewees are not sending thank you notes, and those candidates are 22 percent more likely to be passed over for the job.
How Do I Write a Job Interview Thank You Letter?
Before we get into the meat and potatoes (idiom meaning the most basic or fundamental aspects of something) of writing a post-interview thank you letter, let’s look at the who, what, and when of putting this together.
In this interview pro tips video, Anita goes over the basics of putting together a post-interview thank you letter. If you've got a handle on the basics, then keep reading to learn more about formatting, who to address your letter to, and how to send it.
Who do I address it to?
Address a thank you letter to anyone who individually interviewed you during your job search.
That means you need to include a recruiter if you used one and the hiring manager who interviewed you. Hopefully, the interviewer provided a business card with contact information during the interview, but, if they did not, it’s okay to reach out to a secretary or your recruiter for contact information.
If a group of people or panel interviewed you, it’s best to write one email to the lead interviewer and then CC everyone else in the interview. You don’t have to write individual emails to everyone.
What format should I use?
In today’s job market, an email is always acceptable. It’s fast, reliable, and allows proper formatting (explained below) of your letter.
Traditionally, job candidates would send a typed letter via the post office, and it’s still acceptable sometimes. The problem is that we live in a technological age where an email arrives instantly and post mail takes days. Also, a handwritten letter can be viewed as excessive by a potential employer.
However, here are two rules you can follow when deciding between an email or handwritten thank you letter.
Regardless, never send a text message as a thank you for an interview. This is not professional under any circumstances.
When do I send it?
It’s important to send the job interview thank you letter within 24 hours after the interview.
Yes, we’re all busy. But, you can set a reminder on your smartphone, write a sticky note and put it on a marker board, or ask your close friend or relative to remind you.
Whatever you do, don’t forget the thank you note. It shows you’re both humble and gracious, and, more importantly, not forgetful.
Length and Tone
When writing a thank you letter, keep the letter concise and to-the-point. There’s no need to write multiple paragraphs rehashing what was already discussed in the interview. As we pointed out before, the employer is probably interviewing multiple candidates, so you don’t want to consume much of their time.
For the tone of the letter, follow these guidelines:
Structure and Template
To structure your email, you can use the following guidelines and template. They work for any job interview situation, and you can easily adjust the template to fit your needs.
Since you’ll most likely send an email, you’ll need a short, clear subject that states the purpose of your email.
With that formatting in mind, let’s look at an example:
Subject: Thank you for your time!
Thank you for speaking with me regarding the position of [position]. [Company] has a solid business strategy, and it was beneficial to learn that [company highlight from interview].
Speaking with you has convinced me that the position is one I would enjoy and excel at as a member of your team. My experience in [short mention of beneficial skills and experience] would be helpful to [company].
Please contact me if you have any other questions or require more information. Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Your letter should be just as short and simple. As we discussed, the job interview thank you letter is an older tradition but still an important one. For more templates, check out this resource for job interview thank you letter examples.
For tips on what you can do after sending a thank you letter, be sure to read our post on how to write job interview follow-up letters. Whether you need help writing a cover letter in English, tips on interviewing in English, knowing what questions to ask during an interview, or negotiating your salary, we have great tips and tricks in our blog.