Thank You Notes; They Matter

You just left the interview. You think it went great. Now what? It is not the time to let up. Everything that you’ve done up to this point is moving you forward in your job search. Keep the momentum going.

Send a Thank You

You can send a thank you via email (quick, but not as personal as a handwritten card). You can mail it (takes a few days, so it doesn’t have the immediacy of an email, but has a bigger impact due to the perceived time and care it took to handwrite a note). Or, you can drop off a handwritten note the next day (a good strategy for big companies when you can hand the envelope to the receptionist). NOTE: If you are applying for a federal job, email is essential. Most federal agency “snail mail” goes to a third party first to ensure that its safe so it may take weeks for a mailed thank you to get to a federal agency; bringing a note to the agency won’t work either as most federal agencies have difficult access requirements.

What should you say in the thank you note? Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to talk with him or her about the job. (If you interviewed with multiple people, you should send a personalized thank you note/email to each person.) Reiterate your interest in the position. Mention something specific from the interview, or take this opportunity to share information that you may have forgotten to note in the interview. Promise a follow-up at a specific date.

For example:

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today about the Marketing Coordinator role. I am very interested in this position, and would love to be a part of the Acme Company team. I also really enjoyed meeting Amy, Pete, and Bob. 

As we talked about, my experience in planning and executing large-scale events would be most relevant to this role. As I mentioned, I’ve planned events from as small as an employee recognition luncheon for 15 people to a 500-person conference that had a budget of $475,000. I am confident this experience will be well utilized in this job. 

If you would like me to prepare an event planning timeline for a hypothetical event in advance of the second round of interviews, I would be happy to do that. Just let me know! 

I will call you next Monday to follow up. If you need anything in the meantime, you can reach me at 555-555-0000 or email Jane.Jobseeker@gmail.com. 

Sincerely, 

Jane Jobseeker

At the end of the job interview, one question you should have asked is, “What is the next step, and when do you expect to make a decision?” If you got a specific timeframe for an answer, that will guide your follow-up. Perhaps the interviewer outlined the next step in the process (for example, a second interview, or a reference check). If not, there are usually things that take some time before the interview process can continue, or a job offer is extended. Patience — and persistence — are key.

 

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