Writing a thank you letter after an employment interview has long been a “must” for serious job seekers.  Today, it is perfectly acceptable and much more expedient to thank an interviewer via e-mail.  Please note that wherever the word “letter” is used in the remainder of this section, the correspondence can as easily be an e-mail.

General Thank You Letter Tips

  • Whenever possible, send your thank you letters or e-mails within 24 hours after the end of the interview.
  • That said, NEVER be in such a hurry that your letter contains spelling or grammatical errors.  We have seen many candidates who were “front runners” after an interview end up at the back of the proverbial line because of errors in their thank you letters.
  • If possible, ask either your recruiter or a friend/family member who got “A’s” in English to review your letter before you hit the “send” button.  Sometimes it is easier for others to spot an error.  Studies have proved that when we proof our own writing, we tend to see the intended word VS what actually appears on the page.
  • In addition to thanking the person you talked with, the thank you letter reinforces the fact that you want the job.
  • Even if you do NOT want the job, write a thank you letter respectfully withdrawing your application.  You never know when or where you may come across the same interviewer in the future.

 View Your Thank You Letters as Sales Letters
You may also view your thank you letters as “sales” letters. In other words, you can restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on. This thank you letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask, or that you neglected to answer as thoroughly as you would have liked.

Group Thank You Letters
What if you spent an entire day being interviewed (and taken to lunch) with several people? Are individual thank you letters appropriate or should you write a “group” letter? Choose your approach based on what you think will be most in keeping with the “personality” of the organization. Also, consider whether the interviewers had very much in common with one another. If there was a great deal of similarity (i.e., shared concerns mutually voiced by your interviewers), perhaps a “group” letter will suffice.

When You Are Not Sure What to Write
Time takes precedence – get a simple, appreciative thank you note mailed within 24 hours; and save your creative efforts for another time. If you’re not sure what to write, review a few sample thank you letters or personalize our thank you letter template.

By Alison Doyle, About.com Guide