A post-interview thank-you note should include at least five components: genuine gratitude, highlights from the interview, a value-add statement, a confident signoff, and your contact information. The following guide explains in greater detail what details to include in each of these sections and how to frame your letter to be professional, assertive, and memorable.
5 Components to Make Your Thank-You Note Stand Out
As an executive, you can appreciate the time, effort, and money it takes to recruit employees—make sure the interviewer understands how much you appreciate the opportunity. Thank the interviewer for sharing information with you about the position at the beginning of the letter and in the closing remarks. It’s important to demonstrate emotional intelligence because organizations are looking for leaders who can deftly navigate interpersonal relations and partnerships. This also can help show cultural fit—be the type of person people want to work alongside.
Jot down notes about your interview: What were the most important moments? Which questions did you answer particularly well? Tie in at least one or two specific details into your thank you-note to commit those ideas to memory and make your candidacy stand out.
Reciprocity is the key to collaboration. If you want an organization to work with you, proactively find ways to contribute to their objectives. For example, if you discussed annual projections during the interview, you could:
- Research the market and share a relevant resource with the interviewer (for example, a link to an article, webinar, or case study).
- Put together a one-sheet that outlines your ideas.
- Emphasize a compelling point about your qualifications and what you’d like to do to help build the organization.
This strategy works well because people are naturally social creatures—when someone helps, most of us feel compelled to return the gesture. This instinct explains how we network and build integrative societies; it’s why we pay taxes for community support, donate to charity, and exchange favors among friends. By providing value to an organization, you plant the seed for a partnership, not just an interview.
Confidence is a cornerstone of persuasive writing. You can communicate executive presence in your writing by using positive language that assumes the interviewer will discuss your candidacy further.
For example: “Thank you again for your consideration, and I look forward to talking soon.”
The difference is subtle, but words like “hope” and “would” undermine your authority. Speaking in absolutes here helps to reinforce your value to the organization and will make you sound assertive.
Make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to contact you. Use an email signature with your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and any relevant social media accounts or webpages. Traditional letter templates also come with the candidate’s home address, but this is optional today and could hurt your chances if you have a long commute.
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Tips for Writing a Thank-You Note to a Prospective Employer
Now that you have a list of elements to include in your letter, take the following tips into consideration:
- Send the thank-you note via email—this ensures your message will be received and avoids potential complications at a physical address.
- Address the letter to an individual by name.
- If you interviewed with multiple people, send each person a separate thank-you note.
- Avoid gendered language, like Mrs., Mr., Ms., etc.
- Explicitly use the words “Thank you.”
- Send the thank-you note at least within the first 3 hours after an interview ends.
- Check the spelling and grammar in your thank-you note before sending.
- Don’t use a generic template—add personal detail to make your message sincere.
Job interviews are stressful, even at the executive level. No matter how much experience you have, interviewing for jobs can feel like putting your career trial. If you have questions about how to position yourself to an employer, working with an executive coach can prove invaluable. To learn more about interviewing techniques, recruitment, and navigating social expectations, sign up for the Ivy Exec newsletter or talk to one of our partner coaches today. With an all-inclusive membership to Ivy Exec, you can find out about the latest executive job postings, career strategies, and interview advice.
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