TAO Self-help

Title:Veteran Post-Interview Thank You Notes: Not Just for Saying Thanks

Author:Dr Ryan Wallace

Date:May 2014


Almost every job hunter has heard at one point or another that it is a good practice to send a thank you note to the interviewers following an interview. It is important to point out, however, that the purpose of a post-interview thank you note is not merely to express appreciation! Like your resume, cover letter, and interview performance, a thank you note is yet another tool for you to market your skills and personality to the hiring manager.

Address thank you notes by name!

Like your cover letter, your thank you notes should be addressed to each interviewer by name. This small attention to detail will set you apart from interviewees that address their thank you notes generically to "Hiring Manager" or "Sir or Ma'am".

Remind the interviewer of position for which you applied.

Hiring managers, especially those at large companies, are often involved in vetting several positions at any given time. When writing your thank you note, be sure to mention the specific position for which you interviewed. This serves as a memory jogger to the hiring manager to help categorically distinguish you from other applicants.

Mention something specific from the interview.

One cannot understate the importance of this component of the thank you note. While it may seem otherwise, communication in an interview does not merely flow from applicant to interviewer. If you carefully evaluate your interview, you will also glean information from your interviewer about the position, responsibilities, corporate culture, people, and other unique facets about the company. Including a few brief sentences in your thank you note about what was discussed in the interview serves as proof to the hiring manager you were listening to this important communication. Bottom line-If the interviewer spent a significant amount of time discussing a particular aspect of the job or company, it is worth mentioning in your thank you note.

Market yourself!

Take the opportunity to further highlight how your skills, qualifications, or experience meet the job posting's requirements. Moreover, concisely market how you are an asset that can solve the company's problems.

Show your passion for the position.

Most hiring managers would agree, it is not merely compatible skills that make a good employee-managers want to hire employees with passion! Like your cover letter, you need to express your passion for the position, company, culture, and employees. Show how you really want to be there.

Express appreciation for their time.

This is the "thank you" part of your letter. Show genuine appreciation for the opportunity to highlight your qualifications in the interview. While interviews may seem like a grueling experience for interviewees, they can be absolutely exasperating for managers. Remember, conducting interviews is often just an ancillary duty for managers amongst a sea of competing responsibilities. Reviewing hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of nearly identical resumes can literally make one's eyes cross after a few hours. Conducting interviews can be equally as tedious and time consuming. A little sincere appreciation for the overworked, unsung hiring manager can go a long way.

Solicit the next stage of the hiring process.

Like your cover letter, you want to close your thank you with an action. Solicit the next stage of the interview or hiring process with eagerness. Show you are excited to proceed to the next stage of vetting. To use an aphorism...If you applied for a job as a ditch digger, you want to leave the hiring manager with the distinct impression you are standing by with your shovel in hand and ready to dig!

Close with your contact information.

This might seem like an obvious inclusion however this information is often absent many thank you notes. Don't overlook adding your contact information. Make it easy for the manager to pick up the phone after your call to action and advance your candidacy.

Do I send a hand-written note or email?

This practice of sending hand-written thank you notes is slowly being replaced by email. There are many online articles that are diametrically opposed on this issue. In the end, the decision should ultimately come down to your individual assessment of the corporate culture of the interviewing company. If the culture is less-tech savvy and more traditional, a hand-written note is recommended. Conversely, if the company values cutting edge communication and smacks of a more modern organization, an email thank you works just fine.

An old Hansa Proverb states, "Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot." Taking the time to write a good thank you note can give you the edge you need to land your next job! I leave you with a short sample thank you...

"Greetings, Timothy!

Thank you for the interview! It was a pleasure to meet with you, Jim, Kim, and Roger to discuss the XYZ Company Trainer opportunity. As evidenced by my work with ABC, Inc., you will find I offer a vast array of technical and instructional expertise that would be valuable in many of the Training Division's programs. I am eager to bring these skills to bear on the challenges of the position. I enjoyed learning about the unique culture of your company, as we discussed during the interview. Moreover, I am anxious to collaborate with your group of high caliber professionals to achieve unmatched product quality and customer satisfaction! I look forward to hearing from you to advance the interview process so I may more rapidly immerse myself in the work of achieving your company's goals.


John Q. Smith
(123) 456-7890
123 1st St
Oklahoma City, OK 71234"

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