A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way

The importance of sending a post-interview thank you note

You made a killer impression at a recruitment event or you nailed a job interview.  Now what – send a thank you note, of course!  It is a simple thing that can improve the impression you left and help you stand out from the other candidates. There is really no downside to sending a thank you note.  You’ve got nothing to lose and much to gain from just a little bit of additional effort.

Who doesn’t like being thanked?  In an Accountemps 2012 survey of Human Resource Managers, 91 percent reported that they appreciate receiving thank you notes.  Moreover, 59 percent reported it was “very helpful’ for a promising candidate to send a thank you note following an interview.

Some employers have come to expect thank you notes, so neglecting to send one could possible reflect badly on you. In fact, according to a CareerBuilder survey, 86 percent of employers said the absence of a thank you note following and interview demonstrates lack of follow through, and 22 percent of hiring managers would be less likely to hire the candidate who does not sent a note.


Send your thank you note or follow-up letter within 24 -48 hours of the interview or event.  Emailing is perfectly fine, but if snail-mailing send it immediately. It will not help if your beautifully handwritten note arrives after a decision is made.

Writing a thank you note is not hard to do, but keep your message short and on point – no more than a couple paragraphs. Highlight what the employer liked about you or refer to something the recruiter said about the company or position, and express your suitability and interest in the opportunity in question.   If writing following a job fair, recruitment event or other brief encounter, simply convey your pleasure in meeting and your desire to talk further. If following an interview, use the opportunity to reinforce your skills in any areas the employer showed concern over or if appropriate, to attach projects, a portfolio or supporting documentations for things discussed during the interview.

Personalize each thank you note to build upon the connection made at the interview or recruitment event.  Do not send generic or canned thank you letters and be sure to proof read carefully.

After making a memorable impression at the job fair or recruitment event and then demonstrating the courtesy and follow-through with a thank you note, your next step might be a phone screen or phone interview.  Check out the recording of our recent webinar “I Attended the Recruiter Session, Now What?” where you can see a sample thank you note and get extensive tips for crushing that phone interview.

Ann Martin is a Career Services Advisor at  University of Maryland University College where she has worked for more than five years. She holds a master’s in mental health counseling from Bowie State University.  As a mid-life career changer, she feels uniquely qualified to assist adult students in transforming their lives and finding their place in the workforce.