Things to Keep in Mind When Sending a Thank-You Email After a Job Interview
As a job candidate, you should always strive to stand out from the competition. Given that desirable positions attract hundreds of candidates, standing out is the only way you’ll get the job. An important step in that direction is to always send a thank-you email after an interview. With many candidates neglecting this gesture, you have a relatively quick and simple way to set yourself apart and get much closer to landing the job.
Another important reason to send a thank-you email is that some hiring managers won't consider you for the position unless they get one from you. Don’t think of the thank-you note as a bonus but rather as a must.
Below are some best practices to keep in mind as you're crafting your email. If you'd rather leave this task to the professionals, consider our follow-up letter templates.
Customize your thank-you emails for each interviewer
If you met with several people, send a thank-you email to each one, but avoid sending the exact same note to everyone.
Instead, personalize your follow-up with something that emerged during the interview. For example, if your kids go to the same school as one of the interviewers’ or you share a passion for cooking with another one, mention those things to strengthen your connection with them, as well as to show that you're attentive.
Don’t go overboard, but do include what you can to customize the letter. They’ll appreciate the personalization, which will make each thank-you letter feel more genuine. If there were multiple interviewers and they compare their letters, they’ll be impressed that you took the time to send each of them a personalized note.
Reiterate your qualifications
Since a thank-you email is another touchpoint with a potential employer, use the opportunity to reiterate how your work experience and qualifications make you a highly desirable candidate. Remind them how your skills can help move the company forward. Don’t be pushy or arrogant about it—touch on your qualifications in a polite way that communicates your eagerness to help the company meet its goals. While you’re at it, don’t be shy about letting them know how much you want the position.
Send it right away and keep it short
When it comes to a thank-you note, a good rule of thumb is to send it no later than 24 hours after the interview. You might want to get to work as soon as you return home. Confirm the spelling of each interviewer's name and get their correct email address before sending the letter (this is crucial—a misspelled name will destroy all the power of your thank-you note, and getting the email address wrong means it’ll never be delivered).
Also, make sure your letter is concise. A smart way to measure the length is to write only as much as would fit on a physical thank-you card.
For many employers, grammar and spelling mistakes can be deal-breakers. The last thing you want is to get dinged for a typo after all your hard work and effort.
Take the time to double-check your email and go over it carefully. Another good practice is to read it out loud—this can help you notice mistakes you might have missed. Have a friend or a family member go through it to see if they can catch anything you missed. It may also be worth it to hire a professional proofreader just to make sure everything is as it should be.
In general, you should send your thank-you letter via email, but there may be circumstances where it’s best to do it via snail mail. Traditional companies may expect it. If you're not sure which method to use, it's okay to send both an email and a snail-mail letter.
The important thing to remember is that sending a thank-you note after every interview is a must. You'll come across as organized, enthusiastic, and considerate—great traits to show a hiring manager. It’s also a good opportunity to get in front of them one more time, highlight your strengths, and stand out from the competition. There are no downsides as long as you don’t make a fatal faux pas in your letter.
If you need help with this critical task, consider our professional templates for follow-up letters.