Most job applicants neglect to write a thank you letter immediately following a job interview — a critical omission! One way to distinguish yourself from the pool of finalists for a job is to write a thank you letter immediately following the job interview in order to:
- Demonstrate professionalism
- Indicate your serious interest in the position
- Remind the members of the search committee that you thoughtfully digested the ideas discussed during the interview
Use this sample thank you letter to get you started.
Keep these things in mind as you compose your letter:
Begin by including the typical requirements of a formal letter first – your mailing address, the date, and the contact information of the person to whom you are sending the letter.
Open the letter with a salutation or greeting, followed by a colon. In the absence of an academic title for a woman (e.g. “Dr.”) and any specific directive from her to be addressed as “Mrs.” use “Ms.” Never address the person by first name in the salutation — always Dr., Mr., or Ms.
The first paragraph of the thank you letter begins with a straightforward statement of gratitude for the opportunity to interview. Next, reference aspects of the discussion that were particularly meaningful to you in the context of your professional development or your interest in the position. It is by citing specific examples from the interview discussion that you demonstrate you were actively listening to and reflecting on what they had to say. Doing so in a thank you letter evinces important qualities in an employee: the ability to listen to, reflect upon, and act on ideas.
The closing paragraph should reiterate your strong interest in the position. As you did in the cover letter, this is a good place to give further detail about your availability. For instance, if you plan on traveling in the near future, you may want to indicate the window of time in the near future when you can be reached at a phone number different from the one listed on your resume.
Double space, and then end with “Sincerely,” “Cordially,” or a closing of your choice. Then leave approximately four spaces for your signature, followed by your name.
Writing the thank you letter as soon as possible after your job interview will allow you to reference ideas discussed during the interview while they’re still fresh in your mind. Writing and submitting the thank you letter also demonstrates thoughtfulness, attention to detail, professionalism, and good communication skills. Sending a hand-written thank-you note is perfectly acceptable as long as you choose professional-looking stationery and your handwriting is legible. Submitting a thank-you letter via e-mail is perfectly acceptable, if you have a history of corresponding with job contacts via e-mail. If you haven’t corresponded with job prospects via e-mail (and therefore don’t know if they regularly check and use e-mail), you are encouraged to submit the thank-you letter via “snail-mail.”
Though not necessary, a UMF Career Counselor would be more than happy to help you review your thank-you letter.
- Click here to make an appointment with Stephen Davis.
- Click here to make an appointment with Cyndi McShane.