Constructing the Perfect Thank-You Note

By Kaitlin Hurtado on February 27, 2017

While job interview jitters may follow you even after the interview has concluded, don’t let them hinder you from reaching out to send a thank-you note after the interview. A simple thank-you note means you’re still interested in the job, regardless of how the actual interview went.

By contacting your interviewer once again, you are bringing their attention to you once more, which could be the deciding factor in the hiring process. As a thank-you note could very well be the deciding factor to your employer, its quality or the thoughtfulness can be enough to put you above other applicants and make you a stand-out.

When constructing a thank-you note, keep the following in mind in order to make your thank-you note as effective as possible.

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Show your gratitude and be genuine about it. 

Showing your thanks in a thank-you note goes without saying, but it’s important to show how grateful you are for the opportunity given to you, even if it was just for the single interview. Being courteous, even over an email, translates well on your character and as a potential employee in the eyes of employers.

You don’t want to leave the thank-you note at a simple “Thank you for your time,” but you also don’t want to fill the email with desperation or flattery. Express your appreciation for the opportunity and the person’s time, what you enjoyed out of the interview, and your continued interest in the job/internship position. These three points are effective in getting your gratitude across without making it seem forced.

Be as specific as possible by referring back to the interview. 

A simple “Thank you for your time and this opportunity” won’t do; make the thank-you more personal by referencing points of interest that came up during the interview for the job or internship. If a big chunk of the interview was spent on a certain topic, such as a problem the company is facing and how you could help the company work through it, bring your potential employer’s attention back to it.

By including specific points brought up during the interview, you are directly showing how much you paid attention during the interview and how interested you are by remembering the specifics. Making the thank-you note more specific to the interview will make it less generic, showing your interviewer that you are more genuine about your gratitude than a simple copy-and-paste thank-you note would.

Be prompt with your thank-you note. 

The purpose of a thank-you note is to both show your gratitude and put the interviewer’s attention back on you as a potential employee. You don’t want to send a thank-you note after a week has passed; it makes the thank-you note near pointless. In that week, an employer could have already forgotten about their time with you, or worse, have already made their hiring decisions.

It’s best to send your thank-you note within the 24 hour period following the interview for your job or internship position. The shorter the time between sending your thank-you note and the actual interview, the fresher you and your potential will be to the interviewer. With the interview fresh in their mind, the interviewer will be able to tie the thank-you note to your face rather than just another job/internship applicant.

Proofread the thank-you note more than once. 

Even in your haste to send out a thank-you note, you should spend just as much time proof-reading for any mistakes as you did to type it out. There is no point in sending a thank-you note filled with grammatical errors; sending a thank-you note that lacks coherency or proper grammar will not help your chances of getting hired.

Imagine applying for an internship where many of your duties revolve around sending emails or editing documents but sending your potential employer a thank-you note lacking proper grammar. It can set back any advances made during the interview and lower your qualifications in the eyes of the employers.

Sell yourself one last time.

Take the opportunity that the thank-you note gives — include anything that boosts your potential in the eyes of the interviewer that you may have forgotten to mention in the interview. In the moment, interviews are filled with nerves and you’re bound to leave out at least one thing you actually planned on mentioning. Maybe you did mention it during the interview, but you were too nervous to fully articulate the point. Writing out a thank-you note gives you the opportunity to sell your potential one last time, and the opportunity to think out how to do so concisely and eloquently.

Some ways to go about this are to bring up past experiences that will enable you to help the company if you were to be hired, or how your specific collection of skills will help you contribute to the company. Be confident in your ability to fill the position and how you are personally qualified to do so.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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