How to Write Standout Thank-You Emails After a Job Interview
You nailed the job interview. You feel proud and excited, so go ahead and savor the moment—you deserve it after all your hard work. However, don't take your foot off the gas pedal just yet. You haven’t landed the job yet, and other candidates may have also nailed their interviews. Going that extra mile by sending a thank-you email can get you that much closer to a job offer and position you above peers who neglect this step.
Thank-you emails should be on your list of non-negotiables during a job search. Many candidates skip this simple gesture, so you can get ahead of the competition simply by showing up in the hiring manager's inbox when few others do. It’s more important than you may think—some hiring managers are loath to hire applicants who don’t send a thank-you letter.
Here are some ideas on how to write a standout thank-you letter. If you need help crafting this critical email, check out our follow-up letter templates.
Go beyond gratitude
Besides thanking the hiring manager for the job interview and considering you for the position, use the thank-you email as a way to deepen your connection with them. Let the interviewer know how much you enjoyed your conversation and perhaps mention something about the company that stood out to you. A generic thank-you note that you could send to any hiring manager at any company isn’t impressive, so do what you can to customize it, including by mentioning points that came up during the interview. If you can touch on something you have in common with the hiring manager, even better.
This is also a great opportunity to once again demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position. For example, if the company's dedication to leadership development came up during the interview, mention in your email that this is something you look for in a position and that you’re excited about the opportunity. It's a good way to show the interviewer you were paying attention while also expressing interest in the job.
Remind them why they should hire you
A thank-you email is yet another touchpoint with a potential employer, so use it to your advantage. This is a good time to reiterate how your talent, work experience, and qualifications make you the perfect fit for the job.
Also, tell them again how you can help move the company forward. Don’t be arrogant about it—insert this politely, in a way that communicates how you can help the company reach its goals. Share how you helped a previous employer far exceed their goals and state that you’re confident you can do something similar for this company should they hire you.
Thank everyone who interviewed you
Send a thank-you email to every person you engaged with during your interview. This is another opportunity to deepen your connection with them. It’s crucial to personalize each thank-you note, carefully wording them to be as meaningful as possible. If the hiring managers compare the emails you sent them, they’ll note that you took the time to write each of them a thoughtful, personalized letter, which will definitely improve your standing.
Think of something you have in common that came up when you met and mention it in the email. For example, maybe your favorite sports team is the same as that of one of the interviewers. Perhaps another one shares your passion for gardening. If you bonded over something, bring it up again! You never know. It could help give you an edge over another strong candidate.
Consider the timing and mode of delivery
Thank-you letters allow you to get in front of an interviewer one more time and stay on their mind, but how long should you wait before you send one? The best practice is to send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the job interview. If you wait too long, it won’t have the desired effect, and you may have already fallen out of the race.
Most employers are good with a thank-you letter sent via email. However, traditional companies may expect you to mail a handwritten note. If you're not sure which method to use, it's okay to send both an email and a snail-mail letter. A hiring manager certainly won’t be upset to receive an extra expression of gratitude.
These guidelines will help you write a thank-you email that could give you the upper hand in the race. Getting in front of a hiring manager again will make them remember how great you are and allows you to highlight your strengths one more time. It’s also an opportunity for you to show your gratitude and kindness, and social traits like this can be a big deal to hiring managers. Remember to keep it professional and concise, and always, always proofread! Even a single typo can ruin all the effort you’ve put in.
If, for some reason, you’re thinking of skipping the thank-you note, consider this: It’s a deal-breaker for some companies. Not sending a thank-you letter could get you thrown out of the race right away. Don't take that chance! If you need help with this important task, see our follow-up templates.