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This One Small Step Boosts Your Chances Of Getting Hired

This One Small Step Boosts Your Chances Of Getting Hired

By Kevin Brennfleck,and Kay Marie Brennfleck
National Certified Career Counselors


Jim spent hours preparing for his interview. He researched the company, practiced his answers for anticipated questions and made sure he dressed appropriately. The interview went well, but then Jim blew it. He never sent a follow-up thank you letter.  Jim is not alone, according to iCIMS’ Class of 2018 Jobs Outlook, only “a quarter of entry-level job applicants typically sent a thank-you note after completing a job interview.” 

Michael Ellen Matthews, a recruiter in the healthcare industry, recently wrote on LinkedIn, “As a recruiter, I have received exactly one hand-written thank you card from a candidate.  I occasionally receive thank you notes by e-mail.  Most of the time, there is no written thank you, something that has always puzzled me. The thank you isn't really for the recruiter--although it's always nice to hear--it's for the candidate. The thank you note is an opportunity to stand out, demonstrate follow-up skills, and add to conversations started in the interview.”

Taking the time to write a thank you letter or note right after your interview is essential; many employers eliminate candidates who do not take this important step. Aim to send your thank you letter the same day as your interview so the employer will have it in hand the following day. (For maximum impact, do not wait more than 24 hours after an interview to send your letter.)

Tips for Writing an Effective Thank You Letter

  1. Remember that your thank you letter is a sales tool. In addition for thanking the employer for the interview, briefly state why you want the job and how your qualifications make you a good fit for the position. In your letter, you can also include other relevant information about yourself that did not come up in the interview which strengthens your case for being a great candidate for the job.
  2. Keep your letter brief; two or three short paragraphs should be sufficient to convey the most important information.
  3. Usually it is preferable to send a business letter by "snail mail." In this electronic age, a physical letter usually makes a greater impression because it takes more time and effort to produce than an email. If the employer is making a quick decision, however, it may be to your advantage to send your thank you via email. You can also send a quick thank you email and indicate that a thank you letter is on its way.  
  4. If you had a group interview, send a separate letter to each person. Change each letter so that no two are exactly alike. (Make sure to ask for a business card from each person at the conclusion of an interview so that you will have the contact information for your thank you letters.)
  5. Remember to proofread each letter. (If grammar and punctuation aren't strengths for you, have someone else proof what you have written.) Typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors could potentially take you out of consideration for a job.
  6. Keep a copy for yourself of each thank you letter you send.
  7. Utilize templates to give you a format for your thank you letters. Here is an example you can use to structure your own thank you letter.

Conducting a Successful Job Search

Writing thank you letters is a small part of conducting an effective job search. In this competitive economy, you can't afford to make mistakes in your job search campaign. Take advantage of job search articles, resources and career coaching offered by We're here to help you successfully land your next job!


© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors,, and  All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.