The Art of the Thank You Note

Once you’ve completed an interview, you can’t always do much to boost your chances of getting a position. However, the one thing you can (and really should) do is email a thank you note to your interviewer within 24 hours of the interview.

From applying to all kinds of positions on- and off-campus to running this year’s student blogger recruitment process (welcome aboard!), I’m always pleasantly surprised by the impact that a simple thank you note can have on the entire job search process. I can’t guarantee that it’ll always land you the job, but it never hurts!

Start your note by addressing the interviewer(s) and anyone that may have assisted in setting up the interview, such as the office administrative assistant. Double check to make sure you spell their name correctly, and call them by whichever name they used to introduce themselves. If you’re missing someone’s email address, ask the recipient to pass your message along to the other folks who were involved.

Next, simply say something like “Thank you for [meeting/speaking] with me [today/yesterday] and considering my candidacy for [position] in [name of office/organization].” This isn’t your IFP sonnet — get straight to the point!

After that, try and recall some of the things you talked about in your interview. You should especially focus on the things you learned during the conversation. Say you’re interviewing for a research position and the interviewer shared a lot of information about their work. Tell them how much you enjoyed learning about the project.

You also should express some excitement and enthusiasm for the position. Even if you’re not ecstatic about a desk job, you still want to convince your potential employer that you actually want the position.

Afterwards, close the letter by offering to send over more information or answer any additional questions. Be sure to have your friendly neighborhood Writing Sems major or News-Letter editor give it a look over before you hit “Send.”

Here’s an example of a thank you note I sent after an interview, with personal details retracted. Feel free to use it as a template! I actually got an offer after this note, so maybe it’s lucky:

Dear [NAME] (and please pass this along to [NAME] and [NAME] as well),
Thank you so much for inviting me to [meet/speak] with you [today/yesterday]. It was great to chat about the [position] and to learn more about your work at [organization]. I’m very excited about the possibility of joining your team this [fall/spring/winter/summer/semester] and getting the chance to contribute towards [type of work].
Please let me know if there’s anything else you need from me at this time. If not, I look forward to hearing from you again soon.






Author: Emily H.

I'm the official blogger for Student Employment Services at the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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