Sending a letter of thanks to the recruiter after having taken the interview can strongly affect your hiring.
A follow-up letter to thank you won’t save you if the interview didn’t go right, but it sure can influence the recruiter’s decision in case there’s a head-to-head between you and another candidate.
In this article, you will see how to structure a thank-you letter to make a good impression on the recruiter and the company. You’ll also find a couple of letter examples you can use and take inspiration from.
When and why to send a thank-you letter
The first reason why you should send a letter of thanks to the recruiter is the fact that this is a way to show your manners and your professionalism.
The second reason is obviously the fact that thanking the recruiter after the interview is functional to your purpose: it represents a good opportunity for you to remind the recruiter of the excellent candidate you are.
The post-interview thank-you letter allows you to sell your skills and knowledge one more time. In this, you can refer to particular topics mentioned during the interview and reiterate how your skills and abilities are a good match for the position offered.
Also, the letter allows you to add details that you forgot to tell the recruiter during the interview and to attach projects and documents that you have discussed and that highlight your preparation.
When to send the letter?
If you want to send a thank-you email, the ideal would be the same day as the job interview or the day after. It is much easier to write a letter when the details of the interview are still fresh and clear in your head (and in that of the recruiter). Whether it’s a quick telephone interview or in person, it is always advisable to send the thank-you email as soon as possible.
If you decide to opt for a paper letter instead, you should send it within a business day or two of your interview. The recruiter will not receive it as quickly as the email, so it is advisable to send it immediately after the interview.
The longer you wait, the more you forget the information you want to mention, and waiting could cost you your job: the company may have decided before you have had a chance to make a good impression.
Mail or letter? Who to send it to?
If you’ve interviewed several people, be sure to email each of them. Try to vary the message you send so that recipients don’t think you’ve copied and pasted from a standard message.
Get in the habit, every time you have a job interview, of asking your interlocutors for their business card. This way you will have all the contact information to send them a few lines of thanks.
If you are in doubt and do not know whether to choose to thank by email or by paper letter, let’s see which of the two is advisable to use.
While a paper letter is a traditional and formal way to thank after the interview, email is usually preferable to the letter, because:
- the recipient will receive it at the time you want;
- the receiving, reading and replying time is shorter;
- is less demanding for the recruiter or the company?
The email is an immediate and professional way to thank the recruiter.
However, in specific cases, a thank-you letter may be more appropriate. When?
For example, if you have taken (or are currently holding) a job interview for a company that operates in a traditional sector (the organization of weddings), or if the position for which you have taken the interview is of a high standard (roles such as financial director, sales manager…).
How to structure an email/thank-you letter
The subject of the thank-you letter after the interview must contain as much information as possible about you and the purpose of your communication.
As for the email, the subject is important to prevent your email from ending up in spam. One of the best ways to send it is to reply to the last message that you and the recruiter have exchanged, perhaps to confirm the date and time of the interview.
In this case, the subject will be something like this: “RE: Cognitive interview for the position of * Marketing Manager *”
If you do not have a history of emails exchanged with the recruiter or if it was a letter, make sure to mention the position for which you took the job interview in the subject line.
Subject: “Thanks for the interview for the * Marketing Manager * position
Other object examples could be:
“Thank-you letter for interview dated 28/05/2020”
“Thank you, interview for the position of * Marketing Manager *”
“Interview for * Marketing Manager *, thanks”
The body of the mail/letter
- Start by greeting the recruiter with their name.
- Then you will have to thank him for the time he has given you and for the opportunity to take the interview.
- Mention something specific that you discussed during the interview and that you liked to know, about the role or the company. This will show that you are an attentive candidate and that you were 100% focused on the conversation during the interview.
- Reiterate why you want that job and why you believe you are a good match for that position: you will have to leverage the contribution that a person like you can bring to the company.
- Also, and if necessary, give the recruiter information you didn’t have the chance to talk about during the interview. For example, if you want to emphasize how corporate culture meets your values and career goals, do so in this email.
- Use your letter to address any problems that emerged during the interview, including the questions you answered superficially. Take the opportunity to respond as fully as possible.
- Conclude the email by showing yourself available for further clarifications.
Mistakes to avoid
By sending an email to express gratitude and reiterate your enthusiasm for the position, your goal is to confirm the good impression the recruiter had of you during the interview: show your manners, your communication skills, and make the recruiter remember you.
However, you will need to be careful and not make some common mistakes:
- Do not wait too long before sending: the longer you wait, the more likely it is that the recruiter does not remember exactly you or that he has already identified in other candidates the most suitable fill the position. Furthermore, even your memory of the interview becomes less clear and does not allow you to accurately address the topics covered during the interview.
- Do not copy and paste your message: if you have had an interview with several interlocutors, make sure that the message you send them is personalized. It is not uncommon for recipients to compare emails/letters and, if they find that you have sent each of them the same message, you will look like a lazy and disinterested candidate.
- Do not include multiple recipients in the email: do not send the same email to multiple recipients. Send each email individually, without aggregating all recipients together.
- Don’t bother the recruiter: a thank-you mail (or letter) and possibly a subsequent mail, asking for updates after some time, are more than enough. If you excessively communicate with the recruiter you do not promote yourself, you only get the opposite effect. Remember that you are trying to convince the recruiter that you are the right person to work with, so don’t pass for an anxious and desperate candidate.
- Don’t put yourself in a bad light: if you decide to send an email, don’t send or attach anything unprofessional. This also includes links to your social profiles where you post photos of your private life, perhaps of you on vacation with a drink in hand; the recruiter and the company are attentive to the image you give of yourself. Also, don’t send informal messages using a playful tone, acronyms, juvenile slang abbreviations, and so on.
- Don’t write too much: remember that your message must be short and direct. The recruiter doesn’t want to get a long thank-you note full of details about you. So, write only the useful and essential information.
- Don’t make grammatical mistakes: Although even professional editors can make some grammatical or typing errors, make sure your message is well written, with appropriate vocabulary and correct grammar formulas.
- Don’t be a pimp: be authentic. It is true, you must thank the recruiter for his time and the opportunity of the interview, but you must not lapse into useless flattery or be artificially friendly for this. The recruiter can identify forced friendliness, so be spontaneous in your message.
Example of thank you letter after the interview
Dear/Dear Mr./Mrs. ….,
I was delighted to talk to you * today * about the position of * Content Manager *. The job seems to be ideal for my skills and interests.
* The creative approach of the company * that he described to me only confirmed my desire to work in that context.
In addition to my enthusiasm, I will contribute to the company by bringing * my strong writing skills, assertiveness, and the ability to encourage others to work cooperating with the entire team *.
I appreciate the time you took to interview me. I am very interested in the role and look forward to further updates.
If you have any questions or clarifications regarding my application, please do not hesitate to contact me.
* Giovanni Rossi *
This first letter/email is formal and complete, specifying in detail what you liked about the company and how you think you can fit into it.
Dear/Dear Mr /Mrs …,
I would like to hereby thank you for taking the time * interview date * to discuss the position of * role offered *.
I was happy to receive interesting information on * company name * and I am even more convinced that I want to be part of this reality.
Furthermore, I was particularly struck by the fact that * mentions a topic I touched on during the interview *, I think it is in line with what I am looking for in my professional career.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding my application, please do not hesitate to contact me.
* your name *
This email is direct and professional, it tells the recruiter which aspect aroused your interest and on which you have the focus for your professional career.