We’ve all heard it over and over again since the day we were born: “Say thank you!” Since the days of hand writing thank you letters to anyone who attended your tenth birthday party, we’ve each grown accustomed to our own ways of thanking individuals for whom we’re grateful.
That being said, there is one way of saying “thank you” in the business world that is arguably more effective than any other: the job search thank you letter. Depending on the recipient, a business-related thank-you letter may be handwritten or sent electronically. Regardless of the specifics, the power of the thank-you letter in business cannot be underestimated.
The effects of sending a thank-you letter range from positive impressions to immediate job offers. In fact, some individuals have reported writing thank you letters so powerful that they led a hiring manager to change his mind and send an offer even after declining an application.
How is this so? Put simply, people like to know they’ve done something nice, and even more than that, people like to be appreciated. Think about how much better it feels when you’ve done something great once that accomplishment is appreciated by others. Hiring managers aren’t robots, and the words “thank you” go as far with them as they do with any other human being.
Besides appealing to a hiring manager’s emotions and ego, thank-you letters can have a positive effect in many other ways. For example, if you’re neck-in-neck with another candidate, a follow-up letter may be just the thing you need to set you apart. Additionally, if you’ve bombed an interview question, it’s totally acceptable to address that in your letter! Feel free to get creative with thank you-letters and say what you believe really needs to be said.
So, you know you should write one, but under what circumstances? Professional thank-you letters are considered both appropriate and expected after interviews (both official and informational), anytime anyone at all plays a part in your job search via networking, referrals, etc., and finally when accepting or declining job offers.
How exactly do we go about writing these letters? And how should we know what to write when we do? Luckily, tons of websites have written sample letters for us, so sometimes all it takes is filling in the blanks. Check out these two example templates from The Balance:
Job Search Help Thank You Letter:
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I sincerely appreciate the time you spent reviewing my career goals and recommending strategies for achieving them. Your advice was very helpful and gave me a new perspective on available opportunities.
I especially appreciate your offer to/advice about ___________. I plan on following through on them by __________________.
Any additional suggestions you may have would be welcome. I’ll update you as my search progresses.
Again, thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided me.
Interview Thank You Letter:
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
It was very enjoyable to speak with you about the ___________ position at ______________. The job, as you presented it, seems to be a very good match for my skills and interests. ____________________________________ confirmed my desire to work with you.
In addition to my enthusiasm, I will bring to the position ________________________. My ______________ background will help me to ___________________________.
I understand your need for _______________. My ________ skills will help to free you to deal with larger issues.
I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in working for you and look forward to hearing from you about this position.
We hope these help, but remember to customize and make them your own! Plus, if you’re looking for any other help with your job search, look no further than clicking here to download Rake, the app that helps you organize your search and save time, setting you up for definite success. Oh, and don’t worry – you don’t have to thank us.
Also published on Medium.