Potential employers look for stand-out job seekers. Giving a prompt and professional “thank you” for the time spent interviewing you is one way to set yourself apart as you undergo the job search and interview process. This practice applies to thanking the recruiter, hiring manager, and any other leaders or potential peers you may have spoken with.
How do you write a thank you email? When is it better than sending a physical letter? Learn the best ways to handle this essential job application task in our guide.
The Benefits of Sending a Thank You Email
Everyone loves to be thanked, and potential employers are no different. Taking time to interview potential new hires is an investment, one that should be recognized by a thank you note. What makes sending a thank you email better than a handwritten note, for instance?
For one, the email can be sent right away with no concern for USPS mailing times, which can result in a snail mail letter getting there after the hiring manager’s decision has been made. Emails also allow you to include links to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio site, or other relevant work samples that can show off your skills and help you market yourself as the best candidate.
To help facilitate the process, it’s a good idea to request a business card from each person you meet with. This will save you time researching their email addresses after your job interview.
How to Write a Thank You Email
If you’re concerned about how to write a thank you email after a job interview, you can rest easy. It’s not a terribly difficult task and it really takes no time at all to learn. Start with this format:
- Subject line – All emails need a subject line. You can start with “Thank You” and then specify the job title, your name, or a combination of both. “Thank you – Customer Service Position” or “Thank you – [your name]” is adequate.
- Email body – This should be short, succinct, and to the point. Be professional and avoid slang. Use a spell checker (in a separate word processing program, if necessary) to ensure you’ve written it correctly.
- Closing – Sign your email with a closing phrase of gratitude, such as “With Thanks” or “With Gratitude.”
- Name and signature – In addition to signing the email with your full name, link to your portfolio, website, or LinkedIn page so that the hiring manager can reference this additional information one more time when making a decision. Also consider including your phone number.
Thank You Email Templates
Whether you interviewed in person or you answered interview questions via a web conference, these sample thank you emails can get you started on this part of the hiring process. Choose the email example that works best for your situation:
Thank you email after a phone interview:
Hello, (Interviewer’s Name),
Thank you for the time you spent talking with me over the phone today. It was great speaking with you. I enjoyed learning more about the (position name) opportunity and how I may be instrumental in helping (company name) meet their goals. I look forward to hearing about the next steps to working together. You can reach me via my contact information below with any follow-up questions you may have for me.
After in-person interview thank you email:
Hello, (Interviewer’s Name),
It was a pleasure getting to know you better in our in-person interview, and I appreciate that you took so much time out of your day for me. I look forward to learning about the next steps in a potential partnership with (company name). Please don’t hesitate to contact me at my number below if you have additional questions I can answer.
Formal thank you email after interview:
Dear (Mr/Ms. Interviewer’s Last Name),
I enjoyed our time together in consideration of my employment with (company name) and wanted to share my sincere gratitude for the opportunity. I believe that the position is an excellent match for both my skills and career aspirations. I can see myself supporting the goals of the organization as I grow in my experience. The mission of (company name) is one that resonates with me, and I would be honored to contribute to seeing it continue.
Please reach out if there are additional questions I can answer about a future with (company name). Thank you again for your time and thoughtfulness.
Thank You Email Dos and Don’ts
While the exact wording of your digital thank you note will vary by position and interview type, there are some rules you can follow to optimize your message:
- Do use proper spelling and grammar, and make sure you proofread what you are sending.
- Don’t ramble on or discuss anything other than your gratitude and potential next steps.
- Do send the email within 24 hours of the interview.
- Don’t forget a well-crafted subject line.
- Do include all of the interviewers in the email. If you don’t have their contact info, you should still address them in the heading.
- Don’t send follow-up emails. The hiring team will contact you if they have further interest or send a rejection email if you’re not a good fit.
- Do mirror the wording used in the job description and your interview. If the company favors certain terms to describe the position or company culture, use these same words and phrases in reference to the job and your future with the company.
Which Thank You Template Should You Use?
You should use the email format that best matches the interview you had. If you went through interviews in various formats such as a phone interview and an in-person meeting with a panel, either send separate thank you notes or combine the messaging so that it covers everything. The important takeaway is that you convey your enthusiasm for moving to the next step in the process and show your gratitude.
Is it Better to a Physical Thank You Letter?
While a physical note can make a bigger impression and is considered more formal than an email, today’s hiring format often requires that communications happen quicker than postal mail allows. Since it can also be difficult to get the most accurate mailing information, email may be the best way forward.
When to Send a Thank You Note
It’s best to send emails within 24 hours and hand-written physical notes by the next mail delivery day. Since hiring decisions on job offers are made with more efficiency than ever before, you can’t afford to lose out because you weren’t prompt with your message.