Composing the Perfect Thank You Note

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Thank you note on a table waiting to be written.

After you’ve sat down for an interview, sending a thank you note is an important next step. It shows the interviewer that you value their time, and that you behave professionally. It also leaves a positive impression during the time when they are choosing who advances. Some hiring managers won’t even consider an applicant unless they send a thank you note. Suffice to say, sending a thank you note is in your best interest as a job seeker. Even if you want to write one though, there’s still the challenge of figuring out what to write. Today, we’re here to help!

Choosing the Medium

First, you have to determine what type of thank you would be appropriate. If you have just completed a phone interview, an email is probably best. However, if you had a sit-down interview, you should be sending a handwritten note in addition to an e-mail. This added touch will make you stand out and also show that you value the opportunity. So once you’ve determined the type of note you’ll be writing, you can begin composing.

A good first step is determining the person you will be writing it to. Make sure you personally address the thank you. It should be addressed to them directly as Mr. X or Ms. X. Sending to ‘ATTN: Hiring Manager’ isn’t professional in an application let alone a thank you note. Once you’ve appropriately addressed it, it’s time to dive into the content. Begin by thanking them for their time and the opportunity to sit down (or talk). After you thank them initially, it’s good to discuss a specific topic or strength from the interview.  This could be a project that you may be working on if you are hired, or a specific strength that stood out from your resume or work history. You should keep this section brief in a handwritten thank you, but it can be expanded on in an email thank you.

Sample Thank You Note

Below is a very basic version of the tactics we’ve mentioned above:

Mr. Coffee Break,

Thank you for taking time out of your day to meet with me regarding the Blogger position. I enjoyed speaking with you and finding more out about the position, and I’m very interested in the possibility of joining the team.

The job as we discussed it seems like a good match for my skills and experience. I understand you have a need for someone who can understand the struggles and challenges of job seekers, and address those concerns in blog format. My background in recruiting should bring a unique perspective that I believe would be valuable to your audience.

I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to interview me, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding this position.

Sincerely,

Job Seeker

This brief example represents the basics of what we’ve discussed above. Begin by thanking them and mentioning the job, then discuss your qualifications, and finally close with a second thank you. Keep in mind this is just a basic example, so you can build on it as you see fit.

Why You Should

Although the thank you note seems simple, it accomplishes a lot for you. By thanking them it shows gratitude, and the know that you realize how valuable their time is. Briefly describing a skill or certain type of experience shows that you actually paid attention to the demands of the job, and are thinking about how you can start helping if hired. Beyond that, it reminds them who you are when they will be considering your name, which is incredibly important.

For all these reasons, a thank you note is a great idea. Just make sure if the note is going to be handwritten, you also have enough room on the card! Obviously with an e-mail you have more room to work with. Finally, make sure you appropriately address the written card, or e-mail. It’s important to send the thank you within 24 hours following the interview. This will ensure it gets to them while they are still considering candidates.

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