The Thank-You Note is Key!
After you interview for a job or internship, you should send a thank-you note to the person or people who interviewed you. (Ask for business cards at the interview so you have correct spellings and contact information.) Send it within 24 to 48 hours of the interview.
Many applicants don't send a thank-you letter. If you do, you'll stand out from the pack and improve your chances of landing the position.
What Type of Note Should I Send?
Send either a formal letter (typed and printed), a handwritten notecard, or an email. If you're not sure which to use, a formal letter is always a safe choice.
- Use this format for organizations with a formal work environment.
- Never go over one page. Write 2 or 3 brief paragraphs.
- Use high-quality paper (similar to your resume paper).
- Use 10 to 12 point font.
- Don't word it so formally that it sounds awkward, put some warmth into it.
- This format is appropriate for organizations with a fairly casual work environment (If you can't tell, send a more formal printed letter instead).
- These are shorter than other types, a few sentences is enough.
- Use small, professional-looking thank-you cards.
- Write in blue or black ink.
- Write neatly. If you can't, send a printed letter or an email.
An emailed note works especially well in these situations:
- When you know a hiring decision will be made very quickly
- When email has been the main method of contact already (between you and the person you want to thank)
- When you know the interviewer prefers to be contacted by email
- Structure it as 2 or 3 short paragraphs.
- Keep a copy in your Sent folder and/or CC yourself.
- For all communications related to jobs or internships, be sure your email address isn't silly or unprofessional. (For example, firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com).
- Use a signature block at the end of your email. It should include your complete contact information. You'll still "sign" your name, but the signature block should follow your name. For example:
1234 Emerson Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
What Should I Say?
- The most important thing is to thank the interviewer for his or her time, and for considering you for the position.
- Restate your enthusiasm about the position.
- Briefly reiterate your strengths and skills. Focus on a few the interviewer seemed most interested in. Mention that these strengths will be helpful to the organization.
- If you feel you didn't answer an interview question well, you can use your thank-you letter to briefly clarify or elaborate.
- If applicable, mention anything you've done since the interview that demonstrates your interest in the position. (Examples: additional research, reading, or training).
- Include your complete contact information.
- if you were interviewed by multiple people, it's best to send a thank-you to each one. Vary your message so each person isn't getting an identical note.
- Remember to use your voice to bring your personality and touch to it!
- Proofread, then proofread again! One error can move you to the bottom of the candidate pool. (That's true for resumes and cover letters too).
- Check for grammatical errors and awkward sentences.
- Have at least one other person proofread it.