ABC’s of Hiring #12: Thank You Letters

Follow up is extremely important in the hiring process; a well-done thank you letter can make a difference. The majority view is that thank you notes are important. Not sending a thank you note can negatively affect your chances of landing the position. Even if you think an offer is in the bag, you can always improve your chances of getting the job if you send a thank you letter. Thanking the hiring manager is not only polite, but it also demonstrates a sincere interest in the position and company.

Snail mail vs. Email?

Email is now the appropriate format in which to thank an employer for an interview opportunity. It should be sent within 24 hours of your interview. Each interviewer should receive an individualized message. Do not follow up an interview with a telephone call unless you have been explicitly invited to do so.

What to include in your Email

Start with the subject line stating, “Thank you from your name”. Thank you’s need to be short and to the point. A couple of brief paragraphs are sufficient. You should thank the interviewer for his or her time and reiterate your interest in the position for which you were interviewing. Focus on your core strengths and emphasize the value you offer. Try to recall something specific about each interview meeting. Address any issues or concerns raised during the interview. Restate why you want this job, what your unique qualifications are and how you can make a significant contribution. It’s also a good 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.

Proof read

Be extra careful with email; your message is still a business communication, which means it should be appropriately formal with the correct salutation and closing, including their titles. Try to collect business cards or do the proper research to get this information right. The email should be error free, so check spelling, grammar and potential typos, etc.


This should be as straightforward as it sounds, but you would be surprised by how many professionals and executives don’t do it or don’t get it right. The Ladders reports 75% of interviewers say that a thank you letter from a candidate affects their decision making process, so don’t hurt your chances of missing an opportunity for the wrong reason. Always send a thank you letter.


Bob Harrington Associates has been in the executive search business for 20 years and can help you find the best people for your business.

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