If you’ve been looking for a job, you probably know that, after an interview, your very next move should be to write a killer thank you note.
(And check out this job interview checklist for a list of the other things you should do!)
What Makes a Thank You Note GOOD?
How does a thank you note stand out, connect to the person reading it, and advance your cause of getting a job by helping the interviewer remember you favorably?
1. The Best Thank You Notes After Job Interviews Are Sincere
Sincerity can, of course, mean lots of different things. What you’re looking for is a tone that feels right for your interviewer’s personality and the connection you two made; for example:
- STRAIGHTFORWARD: “It was a pleasure to speak with you today.”
- COMPLIMENTARY: “Your approach put me at ease, and our conversation was very helpful.”
- ENTHUSIASTIC: “Thanks for changing my mind about job interviews by making this one so much fun!”
These three comments have different tones, but they all share “the sound of sincerity.” You believe that, in each case, the writer means what he or she is saying.
Which raises an interesting question:
What About When You Have Nothing Sincerely Positive to Say?
Unfortunately, if you want to be sure you don’t get lost in the crowd, you still have to write a thank you note. But you don’t have to pretend that you feel warm and fuzzy.
Instead, keep your comments neutral and polite; for example:
- “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me,” or
- “I appreciate being able to interview with your company.”
In a case like this, the less said about your actual interview the better. So don’t try to elaborate, just go on to expressing interest (as described in point #3, below).
Go here for a Thank You Note Template.
And for help with your job INTERVIEW, check out my book,
Interview Like Yourself… No, Really! Follow Your Strengths and Skills to GET THE JOB.
2. The Best Thank You Notes After Job Interviews Are Specific
Remembering specifics lets you cite them in your note, by saying things like:
- “I appreciate you letting me know that there’s tuition reimbursement if I get my MBA.”
- “Your question about what I believe in has still got me thinking.”
- “Thanks so much for explaining how your company integrates new employees.”
- “It was great to learn that you also like tango, and I’ll definitely check out that club in Queens.”
Comments like these will remind your interviewer of how much he or she enjoyed talking to you—and of what a great addition to the company you would be.
3. The Best Thank You Notes After Job Interviews Are Subtle.
Now that you’ve reminded your interviewer of what a great new hire you would be, you can go one step further and reiterate that you’d be honored to join the team.
But be careful!
Remember: The purpose of a thank you note is to help your interviewer remember you favorably. And you won’t achieve that goal if you bash them over the head (“I could be the best sales associate your company has ever seen”) or make your needs the point (“This job is a perfect fit for my goals!”).
Instead, be sure that your thank you note isn’t all about you. Keep your focus on the interviewer and the company as in these examples from my blog post, After a Great Job Interview, Write a Killer Thank You Note:
- “I would be thrilled to work for [name of organization], and hope to meet you again as a colleague”; or
- “I am now even more interested in working with [name of organization], and appreciate your help with the process.”
Although both those statements mention you (“I would be thrilled…” “I am now even more interested…”), they give credit for your excitement and interest to the interviewer, which means that it’s really all about him or her.
4. The Best Thank You Notes After Job Interviews Are SENT!
But being great is not your ultimate goal. Being remembered is.
So keep in mind: Your note will be exactly right if it’s sincere, has one specific comment, thanks the interviewer for his or her time or attention or skill or whatever, and gets sent ASAP.
Don’t sit on a good note while you spend days or weeks trying to turn it into a so-called “great” note.
Someone once said that 80% (or was it 90%?) of success is showing up — and the best way to be successful with your thank you note is to make sure it shows up on your interviewer’s desk as quickly as possible.
Good luck with that. And for more about how to prepare yourself and your content, check out my new ebook, Interview Like Yourself… No, Really! Follow Your Strengths and Skills and GET THE JOB.