You always send a Thank You note after a job interview, right? Of course you do.

Oh, no… wait. What’s that? I’m wrong? You don’t send a Thank You note? Well, no wonder you can’t get a job.

We asked in our homepage poll “Do you follow up after job interviews?” And nearly half of you – 46% – said that no, you do not follow up. Here are the results:

Do you follow up after job interviews?

  • No, I wait to hear back from the employer. 46%
  • Yes, I send a thank you note. 33%
  • I send a thank you note and call for updates on my application. 21%
  • Wow. You guys, you have to send a Thank You note. It’s a necessary part of the process. (Whereas calling for updates on your application is probably overkill.)

    Employers expect this of you, and you must do it. It’s part of the ritual, like writing a cover letter, even though you know it won’t get read, or dressing up for the interview, even though you know you’ll ditch the suit and tie as soon as you start the job.

    Do we understand each other? OK then.

    Now, here are some tips on writing a successful Thank You note.

    1. Send the note in a timely fashion, via email. Send it the day of the interview or the next morning. Don’t waste time. Sending it the following week isn’t going to do you any good.

    2. Keep it short and simple. Thank the person for their time. Get to the point and say “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today” or “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview for the position of sales manager at We Sell Stuff today.” Don’t stray from the basics. It’s not a bad idea to mention the role you interviewed for, in case they spoke with 20 people and aren’t sure who you are anymore.

    3. Mention something you enjoyed, learned, and/or took away from the interview experience. This shows you were paying attention and engaged in the experience.

    4. Reiterate your interest in the position and highlight why you would be a good fit. Now is your chance to bring it on home. List your top skills and qualifications and how they pertain to the position for which you interviewed.

    5. Don’t get cute, unless you’re willing to take risks. There are times when experimenting with the formula can work for you. I once, knowing the president of the company was a big Beatles fan, altered a picture of myself to look like I was standing with my arms around the Beatles (using scissors and glue, in pre Photoshop days) and sent it to him as my Thank You card. I got the job. But a hiring manager I know once received a handwritten card as a Thank You and was turned off. Another was sent flowers, which she found creepy.

    Look at his real life example (names and the company name have been changed) to see these points in action.

      Hi Mike and Elaine,

      Thank you for taking time out of your busy calendars to meet with me today. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about my experience as it relates to the Senior Manager role on Beverly’s team. As well, thank you for answering my questions as they helped give me a better understanding of the mood and culture at Brands Inc. It is great to hear that Brands Inc. rewards strong performers with the opportunity to shape their careers, and the many reasons why you both are happy there!

      I know we didn’t have a lot of time to chat, but I feel that the breadth and depth of my marketing and business experience would enable me to make a positive contribution to the Brands Inc. marketing team – especially at this stage where Brands Inc. is evolving its product offering and marketing to reach new audiences and remain a leader in Canada’s marketing industry. My ability to balance a strategic approach to solving business challenges with a readiness to roll up my sleeves and get things done, combined with a strength in leading or participating in cross-functional teams (as the situation requires) are just some of the skills that I would bring to this role.

      If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.


    Why this is a good Thank You note:

      • She gets to the point.

      • She reminds them what role she applied for.

      • She mentions something specific from the interview.

      • She references workplace culture. One of the top priorities for hiring managers is finding someone who fits in with the culture of their organization.

      • She gives a brief reminder of her skills and qualifications, so they will be front and centre in the hiring manager’s mind.

    Yes, she did get the job.

    Use these tips when you follow up after the interview and increase your chances. The next time we take a poll asking if you send a Thank You note after the interview, 100% of you better say yes.