For many job seekers, writing a “thank you” email after interview is seen strictly as an optional part of the recruitment process — a bonus gesture reserved for those keen enough to go the extra mile, but ultimately not expected and therefore unnecessary.
While it is true that a “thank you” note is not expected of an applicant, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sending them. In fact, we think it means the just the opposite.
What if we were to tell you that a well-written note can influence the hiring manager’s decision towards you? That this simple and relatively-low effort gesture has the power to sway the hiring decision in your favour? When viewing it from this perspective, the real question shifts away from: “why should I send one?” toward: “why shouldn’t I send one?”
Putting yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager, it’s not hard to see why this is such a valuable piece of the application puzzle. After all, not only are you being screened for your ability to perform the tasks associated with the role, but equally so for your ability to function both as part of a team and in relation to clients and other stakeholders on the organization’s behalf. With this in mind, doesn’t it hold true that someone who is willing to go “the extra mile” by sending a “thank you” note would be more likely to carry that same degree of effort, consideration and sincerity into the rest of their business dealings?
Even taking a strictly tactical view supports the value in sending a note, as the hiring manager will undoubtedly be interviewing and considering other candidates for the role, and a “thank you” note can function to bring you to the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind, allowing them an opportunity to further reflect on what you would bring to the table.
Now that we’ve established the importance of sending a “thank you” note, the real question is “how do I write one?” We’re glad you asked…
5 Step Formula to Draft Your “Thank You” Note:
- Thank them for their time
With a lengthy list of prospects they could be seeing instead of you, an expression of your gratitude will go a long way to communicating that you understand the value of their time and that you remain a serious candidate for the role at hand.
- Appreciate 1 thing about the interviewer’s personality
Again, this process is reflective of how you will conduct business with your team, clients, and other stakeholders. Acknowledging something you admire about the interviewer shows that you are perceptive and that you can recognize the value others bring to the table. And let’s face it, who doesn’t appreciate being paid a compliment.
- Acknowledge what you learned about the project/role — include the top 2 skills/requirements that are key to success
This will reinforce that you were engaged during the interview and that you truly understand what they are looking for and what it will take for you to be successful in the role.
- Reinforce how you bring their top 2 skills to the table
This is where you can really drive home why you are right for this role, emphasizing how you excel in the 2 skills required for success. Limit yourself to 2 lines — keep it short and sweet.
- Express your interest in the position and next steps
Having gone through the interview and learned more about the role and the organization, this will demonstrate that you remain enthusiastic about stepping up to the plate (So much so, that you are already thinking about next steps!)
To help illustrate our steps in action, here’s an example to show you just how simple it can be:
It was a pleasure (speaking / meeting) with you (yesterday / this morning). I really appreciate you taking the time to (speak / meet with me) and share more about your project needs. I must say that I’m very impressed to witness your (passion for building a cohesive team).
I understand that you are looking for a (Project Manager / title) with experience (managing large transformation project within PMO) and (managing multiple stakeholders).
I wanted to reiterate that I have (managed a large transformational project in my last assignment at XXX company) and (have experience in managing diverse groups of stakeholders within technology and business groups).
John, I look forward to working as part of your team and helping to deliver on the vision for this project.
Looking forward to next steps.