The Power of Thank You

Saying thank you is very important; it sends a powerful message. It shows the other person that you appreciate their time or what they did to help you. It might seem like a small thing, but it pays big dividends. The strength of a great thank-you note can be the defining reason you get the job.

When I interviewed staff, if I didn’t get a follow-up thank-you note, I felt the candidate wasn’t really interested in the position. Many hiring managers cross applicants off their list if they aren’t thanked within 24 hours of the interview. Email is the quickest and most efficient way to deliver the message. In some cases following up the email with a simple handwritten note can also highlight your appreciation. Know your audience. However, don’t go overboard or you might appear to be desperate. That means send a simple thank you, not a bouquet of flowers, a box of candy or a bottle of wine.

Send a separate thank you note to each person who interviewed you. Make sure each note is personalized. You do not want your note to sound generic and should make specific links back to the interview or conversation. If you don’t have the person’s email, call the receptionist, tell them who you are and why you need the contact information.

Thank you notes should be clear and concise; no more than 2-3 paragraphs. You aren’t composing the great American novel; the note isn’t your resume. They must not have any spelling or grammar errors and should not contain abbreviations or texting slang. Your comments should only refer to what was discussed in the interview and should not contain any type of apology. Make sure you don’t accidentally hit send before you have read, re-read and edited the note. It is best to either write the note in Word and paste it into the email or put the address in the note only when you are sure it is ready to be sent.

Remember to include the following points:

  • State the reason for writing the thank-you note
    • I appreciate that you met with me on…..
    • Thank you for interviewing me for the position of ….
    • Thank you for introducing me to ….
  • Share an idea or connection made during the meeting
    • Tell something you liked about the meeting
    • Reiterate a personal connection to the person
    • Re-state a point you made during your conversation
  • Recap your interest in the position or the person you spoke to
    • Be positive; don’t sound desperate
    • Ask if they have any questions, need additional information, or want to speak on the phone

A thank you note must be a perfectly written document; short, sweet and to the point. Think of it as the next step in the interview process. It is going to remind the recipient of who you are and hopefully why you are the perfect person for the position.