Follow-up & Thank You Letters
A thank you letter to an employer is absolutely critical. Writing this letter will make you stand out from other applicants. Make sure you get the name or names of your interviewers to address the letters correctly. If you have a panel interview, be sure to send letters to each person on the panel. Even if you are not sure if you want the position, follow up with appropriate correspondence; you never know when one contact will be able to help you out with another.
A thank you letter should be brief and timely (same day or next day from the interview date). As with your cover letter, the tone of the letter or email is more important than the content. Since it is important to do this promptly, a brief email to your interviewer/s is a good idea. You want to convey energy, enthusiasm, and confidence, and this is best done in a brief and personal correspondence. This is another opportunity to re-emphasize specific skills/abilities relevant to the position, add anything you might have forgotten to mention in the interview, as well as highlighting any positive aspects of the interview.
Thank You Letters
You can use the same formula for thank you Letters as the cover letter — make the match, make the case, make the close.
Make the Match
Write a line or two making a personal connection. Use the name(s) of your interviewer(s). Use words like "thank you," "appreciate," and "enjoyed," and make reference to your interview day.
- "Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you (today/last Monday/date). I enjoyed meeting with (names) and seeing the (program/operation/office) firsthand."
Make the Case
Confirm your interest in the company or organization, and communicate confidence that you can do the job. Use words like "my," "achieve," "advance," "collaborate," "contribute," "success," and "goals." Reference the employer's management philosophy, work culture/work pace, or work environment to show that you are "a good fit."
- "I would be very happy to join the (company/team/project) where my (specific skill/professional objective/achievements) (can contribute to/complement the) (outcome related to content of interview and job description).
- In a rare case, you may wish to write a letter that withdraws your name from consideration. Following the interview, you may decide this is not a job you are ready for or a job that you want. In this case, let the interviewer know, and thank them for the consideration you received. It always pays to treat every interviewer as someone who may cross your career path in the future!
Make the Close
You need a final sentence that communicates your position, your interest, your expectation, and your action. Keep this sentence upbeat — do not end with a sentence that communicates your need or a feeling of desperation.
- "I appreciate your consideration for the (position/opening). I was very impressed with (the company/your operations/our staff/the program). I am confident in my ability to meet the challenges of this position, and hope to hear from you soon.
Your letter and your situation are unique. These examples are provided to help you learn a process for producing letters that will advance your job search. Whenever possible, bring your letters to someone at the Career Center before sending them. Remember to send your thank you letters within one day of your interview.