Mastering the art of the thank-you note, a job interview essential

It's one thing to have a strong presence in person. Make sure you convey this through your thank-you note.
    It's one thing to have a strong presence in person. Make sure you convey this through your thank-you note.

    Mastering the art of the thank-you note, a job interview essential


    If you’re in the process of interviewing for a job, you might be grappling with the task of sending out thank-you notes. According to a survey by Robert Half, 80 percent of managers said they take thank-you notes into account when deciding on the right job candidate. Having an advanced degree can give you a leg up above the rest of the applicants, but a thank-you note can make you a memorable candidate.

    If you aren’t sure what to include in your thank-you letter, check out our template to make sure you don’t miss anything:

    1. Say “thank you”
    This part is pretty straightforward. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.

    2. Mention something of interest from your meeting
    Here’s where the letter gets more complicated. Try to mention something about the role or your overall conversation that sparked your interest. This might be a skill they are looking for in a candidate, a business initiative the company is taking in the present or near future or an insightful fact about the industry they shared with you. Not only does this show that you are a strong listener, it offers you a sense of memorability. The interviewer might read your note and say, “Oh, this is the candidate I spoke with about X.”

    3. What excites you about this role
    Job applications state their interest in candidates who are detail-oriented and organized, but there’s one important characteristic they may not include in the job description: passion. Employers want to work with people who care about what they do and can see themselves growing in this career. Show your interviewer that you desire this job for more than just the paycheck.

    4. Why you’re the ideal candidate
    Here’s the place where you really need to hit home. Share a concise sentence or two about why you would do well in this job. This can be difficult for people who want to stay humble, but it is important to show your confidence as well as your competence.

    5. Share next steps and the best way to contact you
    Make sure you sign off the letter in a personable way, informing the interviewer that you look forward to hearing back from them. When adding your name at the end, make sure you add your phone number and email. This makes it easier for them to contact you rather than searching through old emails to find the information on your résumé.

    Sample thank-you letter

    Here is a sample thank-you note for a marketing coordinator role:

    Dear [interviewer name],

    1. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the marketing coordinator role and fill me in on the day-to-day duties associated with this position. 2. The information you shared with me about the company’s plan to integrate increased search engine optimization in its marketing strategies was especially insightful.

    3. I am excited about this role for multiple reasons. I look forward to being in a role that uses creative and analytic approaches simultaneously. 4. I am certain that my concept-driven approach, flexibility, adaptability and passion for marketing make me a strong candidate.

    5. I look forward to hearing back from you regarding this role.

    John Smith

    Things to keep in mind

    There might be parts of the thank-you note you have questions about other than the creation of the letter itself. Check out the following scenarios to answer some of your most pressing questions:

    When you don’t have the interviewer’s contact information

    Maybe you were so in the zone during your interview that you forgot to ask for a business card from the individual running the interview. If you don’t know the email address of someone you met with, don’t hesitate to reach out to HR or the individual who arranged the interview. Also, if you have the contact information of someone else at the company, you can switch the format of the email to fit their name. This doesn’t always take name changes into account, but it is a helpful estimation.

    If you don’t know when to send the note

    This one gets tricky. Some people consider it proper etiquette to send a same-day thank-you note. Other people think that, ideally, you should wait until the next day, ideally so it’s the first email they open the following morning. As a rule of thumb, give yourself a 24-hour window to send the thank-you note. If you had a job interview at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, try to send the note by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

    If you aren’t sure who to send a thank-you note to

    If you met with multiple people, you might be wondering if you should send a thank-you to everyone. The answer is yes. What about to the human resources employee who set up your interview? You bet!

    When it’s a phone interview

    Some people only feel that it’s proper protocol to send a thank-you letter if the employer meets with the candidate in person. However, we believe if you have to think about it, you should send one. Whether it’s a 10-minute informative call from HR or an hour-long discussion with your potential future manager, you can never say “thank you” too much.

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