What is a Thank You Letter?

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1 What is a Thank You Letter? A Thank You Letter is a one-page letter sent to an interviewer(s) after a phone- or inperson interview. It is used to reemphasize your potential value to the company, correct any misunderstandings, and add forgotten points. REMEMBER to restate your interest in the position and the organization. Thank You Letters should be sent within 24 hours of the interview. Should I or send hard copies via the mail? is acceptable and the letter itself is in the body of an message. While some experts don t agree that is acceptable, let the company culture and the timetable be your guide. If the company is making a decision quickly, then is fine. However, it s still a good idea to follow up with a mailed version as well. Typed or handwritten? Studies show it doesn t matter. The important thing is to do it. Tailor your letter to the culture of the company. If you feel the interviewer and company call for a formal business letter, send one. If your rapport with the interviewer dictates a more personal touch, a handwritten note is acceptable. U.S. mail hard copies are acceptable, as well. Hard copy should match the look of your resume (same heading, font style/size, margins, and paper) Why do I need a Thank You Letter? It s very rare that an employer isn t pleased to receive a thank you letter. Most consider it common courtesy. These letters also serve as a way to differentiate yourself from the pack, prove your sincere interest in the job, and keep your name in front of the decision maker.

2 It won t necessarily get you the job all by itself, but if it s between you and one other person, your thank you note could be just the thing to tip the scales in your favor. Who Gets a Thank You Letter? If you interview with several people, the best approach is to sent a thank you letter to each person you met. Vary at least a sentence or two to individualize the letters in case the recipients compare notes. Anyone who helps you with your career or job search should also receive a thank you note. The power of saying thank you cannot be overstated. A Thank You Letter sends a message that you are both considerate and professional, thereby hopefully reinforcing the positive impression you left on the reader s mind. What s in a Thank You Letter? Thank You Letters should do the following: Serve as a follow-up sales letter Be customized to the job opportunity and / or the employer Be personalized when possible Restate your interest in the job opportunity or the company Highlight your qualifications and how you would make a significant contribution to the company Possibly bring up a forgotten, but important, point not covered in the interview **Consider clipping an article you think the hiring manager would be interested in and including it. This makes a very good impression and adds a special touch. ** Thank You Letter Do s & Don ts Use good grammar and spelling. They do get read and may be your opportunity to showcase your writing skills. Greeting: Dear Ms. Smith, Dear Mr. Jones, etc. Send the letter to a specific individual (not Dear Hiring Manager ). Be sure to spell his/her name correctly!

3 Use good quality paper or note cards and matching envelopes (off-white, cream, white, and light grey are good stationery colors.) Keep the style and design simple and elegant; no flowers, glitter, pictures, or scented paper. The BODY of the letter should be about 2 paragraphs long. 1 st paragraph: thank and convey your enthusiasm; restate date and position 2 nd paragraph: review of qualifications, specials skills, and how you will contribute to the company s success The CLOSING paragraph should Thank the interviewer again State your confidence in your ability Tell the reader you look forward hearing from him/her soon Give a specific date when you plan to follow up with a phone call Close with Respectfully or Sincerely Don t forget to sign your letter! Time-saving Tips Create a Word document and save it on your desktop. Copy and paste Thank You Letter paragraphs you have used before to this document. Have this on hand and quickly drop-in the paragraph in the text box that allows for Thank You Letters. Have 4-5 of some of your best, most adaptable key paragraphs on this document. Don t spend too much time creating brand new letters. See where you can reuse sections for similar jobs.

4 FORMAL BUSINESS FORMAT SAMPLE 1122 Main Street City, State Your address here Full Date (For example, February,16, 2011) First name Last name Title Company /organization Street City, State Return twice between each & between paragraphs Dear Mr. or Ms. LAST NAME, Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the Manager of Exhibits and Production position on Thursday, February 16 th. I am excited about the possibility of working with you at the Children s Creative Learning Museum. I know my background as an art history major and monetary economics minor, along with my passion for working in a museum and my internship at the MIA, has prepared me for success in this position. After learning more about your organization during the interview, I have become even more excited about the possibility of joining your organization. Through my undergraduate work and previous experiences, I have developed an eye for intricate detail, the ability to work in a team setting or independently, and the ability to consider the big picture. Also, my strong communication and organizational skills could be well utilized in the various departments of the museum. I am convinced that these assets will add significantly to your organization. I am genuinely enthusiastic about this position and am confident I would be a great addition to your team! As we discussed, I look forward to your call the week of March 14 th. It was a pleasure to meet you and learn more about the Children s Creative Learning Museum. If I can provide you with any additional information, please feel free to contact me at (317) or Sincerely, Hit <ENTER> 4 times to make room for signature First name Last name Hit <ENTER> here twice

5 EXAMPLE Dear Ms. Smith: I appreciated the opportunity to interview with you on Thursday, February 16th. After learning more about the Manager of Exhibits and Production position, I am even more excited about the possibility of working with you at the Children's Creative Learning Museum. I know my background as an art history major and monetary economics minor, along with my passion for working in a museum and my internship at the MIA, has prepared me for success in this position. I remain deeply interested in the position with the Children's Creative Learning Museum! Through my undergraduate work and previous experiences, I have developed an eye for intricate detail, the ability to work in a team setting or independently, and the ability to consider the big picture. I also have a high level of energy and enthusiasm to bring to the position and the museum. I believe that all of these assets will add significantly to your organization. If I can provide you with any additional information, please feel free to contact me at (615) or As we discussed, I look forward to your call the week of March 14th. It was a pleasure to meet you and to learn more about the Children's Creative Learning Museum. Regards, Madeline Miller 6542 Thornberry Drive Hastings, MN (651) Include specific example of skills relevant to the position.

6 HANDWRITTEN SAMPLE 02/18/2006 Dear Ms. Smith, Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. After speaking with you about the opportunity available at the Children's Creative Learning Museum and meeting the rest of your staff, I am even more interested in joining your team as Manager of Exhibits and Production. I was particularly excited to learn about your new exhibit focusing on introducing children to artwork from the Renaissance Era of Italy. I know my art history major and study abroad experience in Florence and Tuscany will be a perfect combination for this position, particularly for this new exhibit. Again, thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and I can be reached at (651) Best, Madeline Miller Include specific example of skills relevant to the position.

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