Career Development Center

The Importance of Thank You Letters

A thank you letter follows an interview and expresses your appreciation for the interview and re-emphasizes your interest in the position. It can also be used for responding to a rejection or withdrawing yourself from consideration for a position. It expresses your appreciation of the employer’s time and considering/interviewing you for the position.

Thank you letters have become standard practice and should be sent within a day of the interview. They can be a brief handwritten message (legibly written, of course) on a simple conservation note card, or a more formal letter. Hand delivering them is preferred, but email format is also acceptable, especially if all of your correspondence with the employer except the interview have been conducted in that format.

At thank you letter is an opportunity to:

  • Emphasize your interest in the position and the company/organization
  • Restate your major qualifications
  • Add any afterthoughts or something that you may have forgotten to mention in the interview

The value of sending a thank you letter is that it differentiates you from the crowd of other applicants who do not take the time to send a thank you note.

Even when you are not selected for the position a thank you letter illustrates your professionalism and can lead to positive results. It is not uncommon for individuals who make a good impression, but who may not have been the best candidate for one position, to be contacted by the same employer when another position – one that is a better fit for an individual’s skills – becomes available. And many employers will admit that it was a thoughtful thank you note or letter that led them to contact a former applicant about a new position opening.

Even when you are not selected for the position a thank you letter can lead to positive results. (Pull quote)