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3 Musts for the Perfect Post-Interview Thank-You

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Maybe you just killed your third and final interview, or you finished your initial phone screen with a recruiter with flying colors. Wherever you are in your interviewing process, now it’s time to follow up with the perfect thank-you note. 


When is it acceptable to ditch a thank you note? Absolutely never. Even if you’ve decided you’re moving onto other opportunities instead, you should still send a thank-you as a courtesy.


The truth is if you don’t send a thank-you after an interview, you might already be ruling yourself out of the running for your dream job. Hiring managers often see the lack of a thank-you note as a sign that the interviewee isn’t invested in the opportunity or the interview process. Many see it as just plain rude. 

Don’t believe us? Just check out this recent blog from a hiring manager on why she will never hire a candidate who doesn’t follow up with a thank-you. As she explains, a thank-you email or card signals that you want the job and gives your potential employer a preview of your working style.


Ready to make a positive final impression that will last for days after your interview, all while setting you apart from other applicants? 


Here are five tips for writing a stand-out thank-you note:

1. Carpe diem – seriously.

This is your moment. Seize it while you can. Make your thank-you timely—send it while the key takeaways from your interview are still top of mind. A quick thank-you note immediately shows recruiters and hiring managers that you’re seriously committed to landing their open role. 


Sending your thank-you soon after your interview also shows that you know how to prioritize – which will serve you well in the role should you get an offer.

2. Flaunt that attention to detail.

Did you take notes during your interview? (Your answer should always be yes.) A thank-you note gives you the opportunity to show the hiring manager and team members alike that you were listening and that you cared about what they had to say. 


In most interviews, the recruiter or hiring manager will cover the goals for the position, key characteristics they’re looking for in their ideal hire, and sometimes, added bonuses that would make a candidate the perfect fit. Your thank-you message should touch on all of those goals and traits and how your experience and skillset aligns with every one of them. The best thank-you messages sum up your timeline for achieving or supporting their goals as a new hire.


Here’s an example of a great thank-you note for a sales role:


Hi [insert name],


Thank you for taking the time to discuss your Account Executive position today. I’m positive I have the consultative approach necessary to build relationships and revenue as your organization moves into the cloud technology space. I’m fluent on cloud technologies and the benefits of SaaS software, and look forward to walking your customers through every step of their digital transformation. 


I will support your goal of building new pipeline in your southern region during my first business quarter with [insert company name]. I appreciate the opportunity to increase your sales at such an exciting time to join your organization.


Thanks again,


[Insert your name]


And here’s one for a marketing role:


Hi [insert name],


Thanks for carving out some time to discuss your branding goals at [insert employer name]. With your upcoming website redesign, I understand you’ll need a project manager who is detail-oriented and able to prioritize and keep all of your key stakeholders on the same page. 


I’d be proud to be that team player and I’m confident my experience in creative project management can support your marketing goals for years to come. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your branding goals.


Thanks again,


[Insert your name]

3. Have fun.

Whatever your thank-you is covering, make sure it’s fun to read. End it with something unexpected that will make you more memorable as a job candidate. Tie your closing statement to something you learned about your potential employer’s culture or their achievements. 


Want some examples? Maybe your potential employer has a ping pong tournament every year. Finish your message with something engaging like:


And I look forward to winning more than new business. My friends call me Zhang Yining when we play ping pong.


Finally, gratitude is everything. Sending your thank-you letter shows you really want the job, while simultaneously demonstrating your respect and appreciation. It’s an important first step to building meaningful professional relationships rooted in respect and trust.