The Interview Thank You Letter
Writing thank-you letters to your interviewers after a job interview never looks terrible to a hiring manager. Instead, it is an essential step in the job application process. Most employers expect it, and when you send one to those who don't, you'll still impress them with your professionalism.
The purpose of writing job interview thank-you letters
Hiring managers appreciate interview thank-you letters because they are professional and polite. They also show your sincere interest in the position, talk up your skills and accomplishments, and provide the chance to give more insight into your qualifications for the job.
Anatomy of a job interview thank-you letter
Like cover letters, interview thank you notes are business letters and follow a traditional business letter format.
An appropriate interview thank-you letter has the following sections:
- A header
- A salutation (also called a greeting)
- An introductory paragraph
- A middle paragraph or two
- A closing paragraph
- A complimentary closing
How to write each section of an interview thank-you letter
The header must contain your and the interviewer's contact information. The way you format it will depend on the template you use, but generally, it should look something like this:
Add a professional salutation. By this, I mean you have to use the correct spelling of the person's name, proper title, and an appropriate but personalized greeting, like "Dear John," or "Hello Jane." Addressing the person by a personal title like Mr. or Mrs. and their last name is a bit too formal for an interview a thank-you letter, and it's best not to assume their title if you don't know it.
When writing your introductory paragraph, start by thanking the person for taking the time to interview you and remind them what job you interviewed for. For example:
Get more specific in your middle paragraphs. Make your thank-you letter memorable by complimenting your interviewer, their team, or the company for something precise or mention something you talked about in the interview, then tie it into your top skills, values or goals for the position.
Bonus: Blow your interviewers' mind with examples of something you can do for them. In the example above, the job candidate could show value by adding a mock-up strategy for ABC Company, and mention at the end of the above paragraph like so:
Bring it home in the closing paragraph. Your interview thank-you letter is your chance to reiterate your interest, add a personal touch, invite your interviewer to contact you, or ask a question you thought of after your interview. For example:
End your interview thank-you letter with a professional complimentary closing, like "Best regards," or "Sincerely," Respectfully Yours,." Avoid "Thanks," "Best," and "Looking forward to hearing from you!" as they are a bit too casual for this purpose.
How to send an interview thank-you letter
These days, most job applicants send their interview thank-you letters via email instead of through the postal service. It's a widely accepted practice that ensures that your letter arrives within a day, as it should, and almost guarantees that your letter will go directly to the person it's for.
Your subject line should be brief and professional, and it should let the reader know precisely why you're writing them. They'll be more likely to open it if they know it's about the job interview.
For example, "Thank you for interviewing me for the [job title] position."
How to write an interview thank-you letter for a promotion
Writing a thank-you letter for a promotion may sound like overkill or even silly. Still, it's a should-do because it's polite, conveys that you're humble, are happy to be promoted, are excited about your new opportunity, and that you respect and appreciate your manager and other higher-ups for giving it to you. And it's never a bad idea to show gratitude — as long as it's authentic.
Approach your promotion thank-you letter the same way you would an interview thank-you letter. Although the point will be different, the format and outline should be the same. The tone of a promotion thank-you note can be a bit more personal, but it should also be professional.
Start with contact information, a greeting, and an introductory paragraph thanking the recipient for their support and promotion. Word it in a way that conveys your genuine appreciation.
In the body of your letter, show excitement for the opportunity and mention a goal you have for your first six months. Assure them you take the role seriously and that you will do your best in your new position. If appropriate, add an anecdote from your former job to personalize your thank-you letter a bit more.
Use the last section of your letter to reiterate your enthusiasm and gratitude, then sign off with a complimentary close like "Respectfully," or "Sincerely,".
Job interview thank-you letter tips
While writing an interview thank-you letter is relatively straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind.