Do’s and Don’ts for Thank You Letters

On a day that is dedicated to giving thanks, it seems appropriate to take some time to discuss the thank you letter.   The thank you note is a tool that can be used to show your professionalism, highlight your skills, and keep your application at the top of the employer’s mind.  Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when sending your thank you note:

Don’t forget to send one.  Some job seekers don’t even send a thank you note.  It only takes a little bit of effort, but it is well worth your time.  It is an opportunity to remind the employer of how much they liked you at the interview.  Some employers even wait for a thank you note before they make an offer.   

Do emphasize your interest in the position.  The thank you note is a great opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position.  Employers want to hire a candidate that is passionate about the role.

Do send it to a specific person.  General emails are usually treated like junk mail and in most cases, the decision maker never sees them.  Get the manager’s card while you are at the interview and send the thank you note directly to them.

Dont wait too long.  You don’t want the employer to receive your thank you note after they’ve already hired somebody.  A good rule is to send your note within two to three days of your interview.  However, don’t send it too soon; sending a thank you letter an hour after you leave the employer’s office makes your note seem like a form letter.

Do reiterate your skills.  You should highlight your skills anytime you communicate with the employer, but remember that the purpose of the thank you letter is to show your appreciation.  Keep your sales pitch to one or two sentences.

Don’t have any spelling or grammatical errors.  The thank you note demonstrates your professionalism, but that purpose is completely negated if your letter is full of errors.  Always have someone proofread it thoroughly.

In the business world, manners go a long way.  Since most people are too busy to say thank you, if you take the time to tell the employer that you appreciate the opportunity, they may give you a second look.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: pakorn/


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