This is the second post in our series of how, when, and why to follow-up in the job search process. In our previous post, we touched on why it’s important to follow up after you apply for a job. Here’s an overview on how to write a great thank you note to follow-up on a job interviewing process.
Woody Allen’s quote “70% of success is showing up” does not apply well to thank you notes. Sending a thank you note after a job interview can help you stand out and demonstrate your ability to be polite. That said, it can also sink your candidacy if you:
- Address someone by the wrong name
- Make a spelling or grammatical error
- Ask the wrong questions: What is the salary for the job? What’s your vacation policy? When will you make up your mind?
Thank you notes should be written and sent within two business days of your interview. Unless you know for a fact that the hiring decision won’t be made for several weeks, plan on sending your thank you note via e-mail.
If you’ve met with multiple people during an interview, send a different thank you note to each person that you spoke with if you can. (If you don’t have all of the details and contact information, use your online research skills. Google *@companyname.com and you will discover how the company assigns e-mail addresses; then just plug in your potential contact’s information, write your message and hit send. If you get it wrong, the email should end up back in your inbox as an “address unknown.”)
Here is a template for writing a great thank you note. (Do not use this exact language, but do note the structure and sentiment expressed. Instructions in italics.)
Start with a brief refresher. Many employers hire for multiple positions at once, so always acknowledge what you are applying for.
Thanks for meeting with me to discuss [position]. I appreciate your time and consideration. My interest in the position increased as a result of our meeting.
Show you paid attention.
I was especially impressed by [add detail, practice, or comment on organizational set-up]. Example: I was particularly impressed by the physical layout of your office. It’s easy to see why your employees have a strong record for collaboration and finishing projects on-time and under budget, as the work environment seems to inspire cooperation. I would enjoy working in this environment.
Follow up on any questions you missed. If possible, provide information on how you work.
As an employee, I find that I can come up with a quick solution, but often produce a better one when I’ve had time to process the situation and explore potential options. In thinking about your question on [topic] more fully, I offer you an additional perspective: [insert solution].
Say thank you.
Thank you again for the opportunity to interview and I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding next steps. In the interim, if you require any additional information regarding my candidacy, please feel free to contact me.
That’s it. Keep it short, simple, and stay on message that you want the job!