Thank-you Letters

You should ALWAYS send a thank-you letter after you interview for a position or meet with someone for career-related advice. By sending a thank-you note, you demonstrate clear appreciation for the time the employer or contact took to speak with you.

5 Steps to a Memorable Thank-You Letter

1. Whatever the format, keep it professional.

It is now acceptable to send a thank you via email or postal mail. If you are sending a letter via post, either write it by hand or type it. For handwritten notes, choose basic stationery in cream or white or a plain notecard. For typed letters, follow the basic guidelines for business letters. For emails, resist the temptation to use emoticons, excessive exclamation points or overly casual language. 

2. Send a thank-you letter ASAP.

Typically, thank-you notes are sent within 24-48 hours of the interview. If you know that they will be making first-round decisions the same day, send a shortened version via email within a couple of hours. Do not, however, send something from your cell phone the minute you leave, as this conveys a lack of thoughtfulness in writing the note. For an informational meeting with an alum or other contact, send your letter within 3-5 days of your conversation. 

3. Help the person recall you and the conversation.

Mention the position for which you were interviewed, including the date and location. Highlight a particular aspect of the conversation that piqued your interest or a topic that the two of you shared in common. Send a thank-you message with customized content to each person separately rather than sending a group message. (Some employers share thank-you messages they received from candidates.) For alumni and other contacts, this will help build further rapport and may help the contact to remember you if an opportunity arises. 

4. Reaffirm your interest.

Strive to mention specific job duties or topics discussed. Rearticulate your strengths and experiences.

5. Take care of business.

Express willingness to provide additional information if necessary, such as the names of references. If anything was requested of you during the interview, include that information with the letter.