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Thank you letter samples

Companies in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand expect and appreciate a thank you letter or email soon after a job interview. It is not only thoughtful to thank someone who has spent time with you but also shows your enthusiasm for the position and company.

In the UK, businesses also find it polite to receive thanks for their time and effort. Exceptions include government jobs, which follow strict criteria and panel interviews, for example for academic positions at universities. Since selection committees significantly narrow the field of applicants before the interview and generally make the decision soon after interviewing the last candidate, you probably don’t have time to send a thank you letter before the decision is made. It won’t help your chances and they may find it odd and a little ‘pushy’ to receive one.

In Europe and some Asian countries like Japan, sending thank you letters is not common. If you are applying to a non-English speaking country, find out what is expected there.

Why send a thank you letter?

  • Although US hiring managers expect to receive a thank you letter, NBC estimates that fewer than 40% of US job candidates bother to send one. Doing so helps you stand out in this competitive job market and improves your chances of getting the job.
  • Sending a thank you letter or email demonstrates your knowledge of workplace etiquette and helps you be remembered as thoughtful, polite and motivated.
  • It reminds the interviewer of your qualifications. After seeing many candidates, interviewers start to forget or confuse applicants. A thank you letter is an effective way for them to remember you.
  • Developing the habit of acknowledging and thanking those who help you will significantly impact your career success.

Who should receive a thank you letter?

  • The person at the company who interviewed you (Send it within 24 hours.)
  • An employer who has offered you a job – whether you decide to accept it or not.
  • References/referees and others who have helped you in your search.

Thank the interviewer for the time and the information they shared with you. In the same letter or email, thank any other employees who participated in the interview.

For example:

‘Please thank Marci and Evelyn for giving me a good insight into the responsibilities of the position.’

‘Please thank your entire staff for taking the time to answer my questions about the day-to-day running of the department.’

Reiterate your enthusiasm for the job and how your qualifications fit their requirements. You can address any concerns they had or add information you forgot to include in the interview. It’s really a second chance to get in front of the interviewer – this time with all the information you learned in the interview.

Although a handwritten note is personal and acceptable, a business letter or email is becoming more common. You can send it by post if the company is in the same city. Otherwise an email (with the same level of formality as a letter), sent within 24 hours of your interview, will show that you're motivated and organized. Businesses value rapid response. You don’t want several days to pass before a posted letter arrives and makes it through the company mail system to the right person. By then, they may have offered the job to someone else!

On the other hand, sending off a message from your phone as you head out the door doesn’t give the impression that you’ve taken the time to consider what you’ve learned in the interview.

Here are some examples of thank you letters: