Interview thank-you letters aren't complicated, but they can mean the difference between getting the job or not.
You've spent hours editing your resume, preparing for interviews, and networking, and now all that hard work has finally paid off. The company of your dreams sent you the golden ticket — an interview. But don't celebrate just yet; there are still a few more loose ends to tie up before you reach the finish line.
The interview thank-you letter is still the most important closer for any position you interview for because it's a critical opportunity to seal the deal — you need to get it right! But you might be asking, “How hard is it to say thank you?” You would be surprised.
Thank-you letters after the interview need to include certain points, confirmations, and the crucial thank-you sentence, so dust off your pen and paper and get ready to write. These quick seven interview thank-you letter tips will help polish your note and prove to the boss you have what it takes to advance their company.
1. Say thank you
The most crucial element of any thank-you letter is often the most overlooked. Recruiters say they want to see the words “thank you” in the letter, so say thank you. Don't just beat around the bush about it. Your post-interview thank-you note should tell the hiring manager why their time invested was well worth it. They interview hundreds of candidates each year, so let them know why you are different and leave a lasting impression. Here are two examples of job-winning thank-you sentences:
“Thank you for offering me the opportunity to meet with you. I know selecting the right candidate takes time and effort. As a professional account manager with more than 20 years of account management experience, I am confident I can…”
“It was a pleasure meeting with you on [date you met]. Thank you for the opportunity to interview for [position] at your organization. I believe my 20 years of advanced account management skills will serve to…”
2. Be sincere
Don't be just another name in the file. Instead, use your interview thank-you note to show the team you actually care about them and the time they spent with you. Hiring managers receive several hundred dull, impersonal notes each year. Keep it professional, but also make them smile. Mention something that came up in the interview or a mutual interest you have with members of the team. Making the thank-you letter personal is not only nice and respectful, but it also keeps your name in the back of their mind. Who knows, they may think of you when an even better position opens. Here are two examples:
“Sara, thank you for recommending [piece of advice you talked about]. I have put your advice to practice and believe it will help me…”
“John, thank you for taking the time to explain [piece of information, something about the job, etc.]. I would love to discuss more methods to…”
3. Pay attention
Use this time to show the team you were paying attention — but don't name drop or schmooze. Instead, show that you know about the company, their goals, and their aspirations. Hiring managers will often volunteer certain talking points about the company during the interview. Listen to these points and reiterate them in your letter. Additionally, ask questions during the interview. Learn about the company's social initiatives, community engagement, etc., and expound upon these services and offer suggestions. Here are two examples:
“I was excited to learn [company] has a foothold in the textile industry. This is important to the community because…”
“I loved the idea that [company] engages with local charities by encouraging team members to volunteer during their off time. I plan to contribute by…”
4. Show enthusiasm
Hiring managers want to see happy, excited candidates. They don't want to hire people who just want to earn a paycheck. Regardless of whether you are applying temporarily until your dream job arrives or are actually excited, show your enthusiasm.
Tell the hiring manager you are interested in the position, write it in your cover letter, mention it during the interview, and reiterate it in your interview thank-you letter. Don't go overboard, though. Here are two examples of how to do this:
“Thank you for this opportunity. I am excited about this position because…”
“Your company's involvement with [industry, charity, organization, skill, etc.] is a perfect match for me. I am interested in applying my experience and abilities by…”
5. Show that you're the perfect fit
Along those same lines, employers want to be excited about you — give them a reason to believe that you're a perfect match for the position. Hiring managers choose candidates based on their alignment to the company, which means skills, experience, values, and philosophy all come into play. Go back over the job listing and choose the two most important traits the company looks for in an applicant. Compare those traits to items in your resume and connect them, showing how you've applied these principles and values to your career and life. Here are two examples:
“Honesty, integrity, and dedication: These are the three principles I incorporate into my professional and personal life. In my previous role as [position], I applied these three values by…”
“In my previous role as [position], I applied my knowledge of [area of expertise] by [explain what you did]. Through this project, I learned the most important elements of any business are the clients we serve.”
6. Share something new
Interview thank-you letters should be more than a regurgitation of appreciation; hiring managers want to get to know you better. Include a few elements you left out on your resume, cover letter, or in the interview. For example, you may have skimmed over some of your community engagement and would like to show how your extracurricular activities fit into your career. The job interview thank-you note should include a new question or point you missed. Think back to the interview and the answers you received, taking the time to include a sentence to expand on an answer or category. Here are two examples:
“During the interview, we discussed the importance of making clients feel welcomed. While working at [company], I encouraged clients to share more about themselves by…”
“As we discussed, I counsel disadvantaged youth during the summer. One of the programs I am passionate about is…”
7. Use correct spelling and grammar
One of the fastest ways to disappoint the recruiter or hiring manager is bad spelling and grammar. Not only is this sloppy and lazy, it shows the recruiter you don't care and aren't willing to take the time to ensure mistakes are avoided. Yes, we all make mistakes, but there is no excuse for language mistakes in a thank-you letter. Microsoft Word has an excellent proofreading tool and should be utilized. After writing the letter, check it using your computer's proofreader. Next, read the letter out loud to catch any mistakes missed by Word. Keep in mind, Word often misses similarly spelled words and usage. For example, “manger” is mistaken for “manager,” and “to” is mistaken for “too.” Double check your information as well. Hiring managers also take offense to misspelled names and incorrect addresses, so make sure it's “Stevens” and not “Stephens.”
Writing a thank-you letter after your interview is more than just simply saying thank you. There are several points to reiterate, items to expand upon, information to clarify, and a thank you or two to say. When writing your thank-you letter, carefully consider your interview, going back over your notes and determine at least five main points to revisit in the letter.
Most importantly, consider what you'd like to see in a job interview thank-you note. Ask yourself these questions. How would I like to be treated? Did I show them I value their time and help? Are there any points I would like to understand further? Thank-you letters aren't complicated. They just require a little thought and preparation.
Before you can write your thank-you letter, you need to ace the interview! Our TopInterview expert coaches are here to help.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on our sister site, TopResume.