The Power of ‘Thank You’ & How to Write the Perfect Letter

June 17, 2014


What is one of the costliest mistakes you can make as a job seeker?  Something that could ruin your chances of getting a job, or at a minimum lower your positive impression made on a hiring manager?  This important, yet often overlooked communication, the thank you letter, has become much more than a formality.  Find out why a proper thank you is important to your career.

Imagine the situation. You’re a job seeker.  You wrote the perfect cover letter, tailored your resume to the job, and nailed the interview.  You’d think you are in the clear, ready to start your new job.  Think again. 

In this article, we look to introduce you to the power of ‘Thank You’ and how to convey this gratitude to potential employers.

Why Saying ‘Thank You’ Is So Important

We know that appreciation that is seen as fake or manipulative is not received as appreciation at all. That fact, most all of us get. Yet, what also happens is mediocre attempts to appreciate someone that’s done more out of obligation or convenience can also have no effect to negative effects, too.

Although important in all social situations, the power of thank you for job seekers is almost a necessity.  Why? Here are 5 reasons that saying thank you can help you get the job.

1. By sending a thank-you note, you show your interviewer common courtesy and respect.

2. So few job applicants send thank-you notes that you automatically stand out if you do.

3. A thank-you note gives you an opportunity to reiterate points you made during your interview.

4. A thank-you note lets you make points you forgot to make in your interview.

5. A thank-you note demonstrates your written communication skills.

Think of it. You not only get to sound grateful and enthused for the opportunity to work with a company, you also get the opportunity to improve your credibility by strengthening the talking points that make you perfect for the job.  But how do you write the thank you letter?

Writing the Perfect Thank You Note

A unique “thank you” letter or email can reinforce the strong impression you already made. But, you might wonder, are hiring managers really going to appreciate a thank you letter? The answer is, some might not, some will, and some might even expect a thank you note.

Tailor and Connect the Thank You Note to the Interview

Don’t be tempted to write a generic thank you note in which you write fluff like “how excited you are about the position” or “how you believe to be a good fit.”

A stellar thank you note will seamlessly link to the previous interview conversation and gives you the chance to reiterate and elaborate some specifics discussed. This way you can demonstrate that you are an active listener who is capable of learning and addressing the company’s needs.

Don’t Beg

You want this job, but you also do not want to sound desperate.  You are simply thanking the hiring manager or taking the time to speak with you.  A suppliant tone can diminish the credibility you built throughout the interview process.

Don’t Draw Attention to Weak Points

Occasionally, you might have discussed certain weaknesses in your profile for the specific position during the interview (you might be short on industry specific work experience or lack a certain certification, etc…).

Do not make the mistake here to draw attention to these weaknesses in your thank you note. Just like in your resume and cover letter, you will want to emphasize your strengths and downplay your weaknesses.

24 Hours or Less

Another important factor for a successful thank you note is timing. Most hiring mangers these days are likely to expect a quick feedback. I, therefore, usually recommend sending a thank you note within 24 hours after the actual interview.

This way you can also be sure that the hiring manager’s memory of you is still fresh and vivid.

Thank Early, Thank Often

The thank you is not only the best way to improve your credentials as an employee, the power of thank you is vital as an employer.  Part of the company culture conversation, the power of a sincere thank you can build employee happiness.

The Overture Group thanks you for taking the time to read about gratitude.  As a firm specializing in recruiting top talent in finance and management, we look hope to help fine the right fit for the right people at the right companies.  We welcome candidates to submit credentials here, and hope that we can help you, as an employer, find the right talent by contacting us.

We would like to thank Careerealism author Tim Windhof for sharing “How to Write a Real Deal Thank You Letter.” We also invite you to look at “3 Powerful Ways to Say Thank You,” Appearing in Entrepreneur Magazine.

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Lisle, IL 60532
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