Thank You Letters
During the job search process, you will meet many people who will provide helpful assistance to you. They may have given you helpful career information, a list of relevant contact names, served as a reference for you, or interviewed you for a job. Sending a thank you letter to each person who has had an impact on your job search is a perfect way to express your appreciation. Always ask for a business card from those individuals you have met throughout your job search - this will give you proper contact information for your thank you letters.
- The following are a few guidelines to help you determine who to thank, what to say, and how and when to say it:
- Send a thank you letter to anyone who has helped you with your job search, expressing your appreciation for their assistance. Thank informational interviewees for the information and contacts they provided, thank references for agreeing to speak on your behalf, and thank the interviewer(s) for giving you the opportunity to meet regarding the position you are seeking.
- Note: If sending your thank you letter for an interview through email, you may consider addressing it to the primary interviewer and cc it or send copies to others you met with throughout the day.
- Use business-like stationary or notepaper. You may type the letter or handwrite it (but only if your handwriting is neat and legible).
- E-mail your thank you letter if you are concerned about making an immediate impact (eg. the hiring decision will be made before your letter would arrive in the mail).
- Keep it short. Lengthy, flowery letters will not endear you to the letter’s recipient and may be perceived as an attempt to “kiss up".
- Maintain a professional tone in the letter, no matter how friendly a relationship you feel you may have developed with the person. The note will likely become part of your personal file and may be read by others.
- In a post-interview thank you letter, use the letter to confirm your serious interest in and/or qualifications for the position.
- Send your thank you letter as soon as possible after contact - 1 or 2 days would be ideal. If it arrives after the decision has been made, it will have little or no impact.
Express your appreciation (for the interview, the opportunity to discuss the position at the career fair, the information they gave you, etc.). Convey your gratitude for their time and the courtesy shown to you. Mention the date of the contact.
Personalize it. Mention one or more helpful points that you learned from your time with the letter’s recipient. You may summarize your main credentials or mention a skill or experience that you were not able to expand upon during your contact, but remember to be brief.
Reaffirm your interest in the position if the thank you letter is in regards to a job interview.
Offer your thanks one last time.