Thank You Letters

Sending a thank you note to people who have given you informational interviews, networking time, and job interviews distinguishes you as a courteous and professional person. Thank you notes give you a chance to reiterate skills and strengths that you want to emphasize, as well.

Basic guidelines

  • When you send your thank you notes depends to some extent on when your interview is scheduled compared to other candidates. Send your note within 24 hours of the interview.
  • Take brief notes during the interview to personalize your note for each person who interviewed you.  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. Identify the specific job. Mention something specific from the interview.
  • 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.)

Email or hard copy?

  • If you choose to use your computer to write your note, use the same format for your contact information as you used for your resume.  Have your name be the first thing on the note; it is professional and consistent. Using the same format as a resume makes it easy for the reader to know how to reach you, since your email address and telephone number are right there. You may send it as a hard copy through the postal service, or attach a PDF to an email message. If you opt for email, put your name and thank you in the subject line, e.g., “Thank you for (Position) Interview.”
  • If you have legible handwriting and prefer to send a handwritten note, you may use pre-printed, formal thank you cards.
  • If 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 toward the end of the first round of interviews. If you are invited for a second interview, send thank you notes again (usually, email is sufficient for the second round.)

Additional Resources:

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