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Effective Thank You Notes to Interviewers

by Kristine Tucker, studioD

A follow-up letter is a professional way to express gratitude after a job interview. It's a simple gesture of kindness, but you never know when it might help you stand out among other applicants. A post-interview thank-you letter also gives you the chance to express continued interest in the open position. If you have the hiring manager's e-mail address, you can send the thank-you letter electronically. If not, a hard-copy typed letter is acceptable, and often adds a personal touch.

Make it Personal

Create a personalized thank-you letter. A generic thank-you note isn't as effective as one that specifically addresses the interviewer. Use a polite and professional introduction such as, "Dear Mr. Jones," and avoid the phrase, "To whom it may concern." Always address your letter to a person, not the company as a whole. When possible, include something from your interview in the letter. You might say, "I enjoyed our interview time together and learned so much about the company's long-term goals." Or, "I appreciate your openness about the company's current needs."

Express Gratitude

Start your letter by expressing sincere appreciation for the interview opportunity. Even if you don't get the job, the interview experience might pay off with your next job interview. Thank the hiring manager for considering you for the job and let her know that you enjoyed meeting her. There's no need to try to impress her with lofty words or a large vocabulary, so keep your letter short and to the point. Even if you don't feel that the interview went that well, draft your thank-you letter in a postive way and say that the interview was a successful and rewarding experience.

Include Your Impressions

Express your perceptions or analysis of the company, as long as it's a positive review. According to Purdue University's online writing lab, including favorable impressions of the company shows the hiring manager that you were engaged in the interview process. You might comment on the facilities, staff, client base, products or services. Avoid comparing the company to other places you've interviewed with and focus on the current employer's best assets.

List New Qualifications

List any qualifications you may have forgotten to discuss during your original interview. Include job-relevant awards, job experience and educational accomplishments that might affect your standing as an applicant. According to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute Division of Student Affairs, you also need to restate your interest in the position and express your continued desire to work for the company. A thank-you letter serves as a reminder that you're a legitimate candidate who deserves a fair shot at the job.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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