Sending thank you notes after a job interview is a quick and relatively painless way to stand out from the crowd.
Since fewer than 30% of job candidates send thank you notes, you stand out and make a positive impression when you do send them.
The effort expended to send the thank yous pays off very well.
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey of employers, thank you notes make a very good impression, especially when done well. The survey revealed 2 very interesting employer opinions about those candidates who do NOT send a thank you:
1. 86% of employers believe you are NOT a good worker if you skip sending a thank you note.
86% of the employers surveyed felt the job seeker demonstrates “lack of follow-through” unless they send a thank you note. Lack of follow-through is not usually a characteristic most employers want in employees.
2. 56% of employers do NOT think you are genuinely interested in the employer and the job unless you send a thank you note.
By not sending a thank you note, you are telling 56% of the employers surveyed that the you are “not serious about the position.” If you are not interested in them enough, they are likely not interested in you, especially given how many other people are interested in being hired.
Even if you think you “knocked it out of the park” in the interview, following up with a thank you note helps you as a candidate. When done well…
Sending Thank You Notes Is Smart
If you are interested in the job or the employer, sending a good thank you note after your job interview is not optional. Whether you think you landed the job or blew the opportunity, send a thank you to each person who interviewed you.
The benefits of sending a thank you note? In addition to demonstrating that you do “follow through” — a sought-after employee characteristic — and are “serious” about the position, you can:
- Remind them of you and your qualifications by briefly summarizing your fit and qualifications for the job.
- Fill in a blank if you forgot to say something important and relevant in the interview.
- Demonstrate your communications skills (watch your spelling and grammar!).
- Demonstrate your professionalism, showing that you understand proper professional etiquette and can comply.
- Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the job.
Send a Thank You After EVERY Interview
Whether it is your first interview and it was over the phone or Zoom, or it was the 3rd round of interviews, your thank you will put you ahead of the majority of job candidates who do not make the effort. Your thank you will also give you an opportunity to remind each interviewer how unique and well-qualified you are.
Sample Thank You Notes
Use these samples as guides to help you write your original thank you notes, customized to you, the employer, and the job:
This example is the format of a standard printed or hand-written thank you note, when the organization or the person is formal and an emailed thank you would not be appropriate.
This example is the format for a standard formal thank you email, which is acceptable to most employers now.
Telephone interviews, also known as “phone screens,” may not feel as important as a “real” in-person interview, but don’t miss this opportunity to demonstrate your follow-through, work ethic, and professionalism.
Sending a thank you after your second interview is as important as after the first interview. But, the message needs to be a bit different. See this sample to understand how to make it different.
Someone who has referred you to their employer or to someone in their network has done you an enormous favor. You are much more likely to be hired, as a result. This thank you is an example of the kind of thank you to send them.
This thank you is only for the external recruiter — one who is NOT AN EMPLOYEE of the employer you interviewed with. That external recruiter can be an excellent ally for your career since, if you stay in touch, they can refer you to other employers for other jobs when you are ready to move on.
Careful! Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but you KNOW that you blew the interview. If you really liked the people and still have this employer high on your list of target employers, carefully send this message. Remember that we may think that we have failed when we others don’t have that impression, so use this thank you extremely cautiously.
Being rejected for one opportunity doesn’t mean you should permanently cross that employer off your list of possibilities unless you really didn’t like them. But, if you did like them and would be happy to work there, send this message to them. This message could well open doors for you for the next time they have a job opening.
The Bottom Line:
By sending a thank you note, even for a telephone/screening interview, you will gain credibility and demonstrate your professionalism.
About the author…
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn.
More about this author…