After the Interview

Writing good thank you letters is an important part of the job-hunting process. After every interview, you should compose and send a thank-you letter.

When to write the letter

It is best to send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of your networking meeting, informational interview, or job interview.

The format of the letter

While a handwritten letter on personalized stationary is considered ideal, that may not be the most practical option. A typed letter printed on good quality stationery (with a handwritten signature) is standard. However, it is becoming more acceptable to email a letter, particularly if you are thanking someone who works for an organization (i.e., federal agencies) where the mail delivery may be delayed by screening or other factors.

Addressing the letter

Send a thank-you letter to each person who interviewed you. If you met with several different people during the interview period, each should receive a personalized letter. If you were interviewed by the members of a large panel, you can send the letter to your primary contact or to the chair of the panel. If the panel consisted of two or three members, you may want to send a letter to each panel member.

What to include in your letter

  • Express your appreciation for having the opportunity to be interviewed.
  • Express your enthusiasm for the position and your interest in meeting the needs of the organization.
  • You may wish to briefly bring up one aspect of your knowledge, skills, or experience that is particularly relevant to the position, especially if you can relate it to something that was discussed during the interview.
  • Make sure that your letter doesn't sound too general. Make it specific to the job and the interview and reveal something you learned about the organization.
  • Express your willingness to provide any additional information that the employer may desire.

If you are not offered a position

Send a note thanking the person for having the opportunity to interview for the position. You never know when the first choice candidate may withdraw and it helps to keep your name and your interest and enthusiasm fresh in the employer's memory.

Resources

More sample thank you letters can be found at the following sites: