Thank You Notes

It is always appropriate to send a thank-you note. It makes the person you are thanking feel special, and you distinguish yourself as a courteous person.

Basic Guidelines for Writing and Sending Thank-You Notes

  • When you send your thank you notes depends to some extent on when your interview is scheduled compared to other candidates.  If you are one of the first people interviewed, you may want to send an immediate emailed “thank you” followed by one sent through the postal service towards the end of the interviewing schedule.  If your interview is towards the end of the schedule, send your note within 24 hours of the interview.
  • Ideally, each person who interviewed you should receive a personalized thank you note addressing a specific issue he/she discussed during your interview.
  • Take very brief notes during the interview.
  • Ask each interviewer for a business card so you use the proper spelling of each person’s name, title, and correct address on the thank you notes.
  • Continue to be formal, unless otherwise instructed by the interviewer. For example, say “Dr. Jones” rather than “Jeremy” in your communications.
  • State your appreciation of their time and your continued interest in the position. State the specific job title.
  • Even if you were turned down for the job, use the thank-you letter to express your appreciation for being considered and your interest in future opportunities. (You never know when and where you may see someone again, so always be respectful.)

More Tips

  • Use the same format for your contact information as you used for your resume – it is nice to have your name be the first thing the prospective employer sees; it is professional and consistent; and it makes it easy for the reader to know how to reach you, since your email address and telephone number are right there. You may choose to send this as a hard copy through the postal service, or attach as a Word document or PDF to an email message. If you opt for email, put your name and thank you in the subject line, e.g., “Thank you from Your Name.”
  • If you have legible handwriting, and would prefer to send a handwritten note, you may use pre-printed, formal thank you cards.
  • If you know that the interview process will continue for a few weeks, you could send an email thank you immediately after your interview, followed by a hard copy thank you toward the end of the first round of interviews. If you are invited for a second interview, send thank you notes again (usually email are sufficient for the second round, since they are closer to making a decision.)
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