Sending Thank You Emails for Job Interviews

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Writing a thank you note after an employment interview can be the key to getting a job offer. In these days of email and online communication, is it appropriate to send thank you letters by email? In most cases, yes. The benefit of a thank you email is that you can get your thank you message out immediately, rather than having to wait for the postal service to deliver it. If the employer is making a quick hiring decision, time is of the essence.

If there is no sense of urgency, you may still want to send a quick email thank you, but then follow it up with a traditional letter or handwritten note. This will allow you to reiterate your interest in the position as soon as possible. It will also keep you fresh in the employer’s mind as he or she begins to make hiring decisions. Read below for information on what to include in your email message, as well as tips for crafting a strong thank you email message.

What to Include in Your Email Message

In addition to thanking the person you interviewed with, the thank you note reinforces the fact that you want the job. You can also view the thank you as a follow-up "sales" letter. In other words, restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you might make significant contributions, and so on.

This letter is also the perfect opportunity to discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask.

For example, if you did not have a chance to explain why you thought you would fit in well with the company culture, you might briefly state this in the email.

Finally, use your letter to address any issues and concerns that came up during the interview, including topics you neglected to answer as thoroughly.

 For example, if you feel that you botched an interview question, you might explain your answer in more detail here.

Keep in mind though, that the thank you note should be brief and to the point. A couple of brief paragraphs are sufficient. Here are tips for writing a strong thank you email.

Send One Email to Each Interviewer

What if you are interviewed by several people? Send individual email messages to each person you interviewed with. Modify your message so each interviewer gets a unique thank you message. Ask for a business card at the conclusion of the interview – that way you'll have the contact information for each thank you email.

Use a Professional Subject Line

In the subject line, provide just enough information about why you are sending the email. Include the phrase “Thank You” and either your name or the title of the job you interviewed for (or both). Some examples of subject lines include:

  • Thank You – Firstname Lastname
  • Thank You – Job Title
  • Thank You – Firstname Lastname, Job Title
  • Thank You – Job Title, Firstname Lastname,
  • Job Title, Firstname Lastname – Thank You

Keep It Brief

Keep your message concise. The interviewer will not want to read a very long thank you email. Focus on saying thank you and briefly reiterating your interest in the position.

Edit, Edit, Edit

Remember to proofread. Proofreading is just as important in email as it is in other correspondence. Be sure to check spelling and grammar. Also, keep a copy in your Out mailbox or cc: yourself so you have a copy of each message you've sent.

Use Samples and Templates

It is a good idea to read thank you email examples before writing your own. Examples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your message. Examples can also help you with the layout and format of your email. Consider reading sample thank you letters and a formatted email thank you message to help you prepare your own message.

While examples, templates, and guidelines are a great starting point to your thank you note, you should always be flexible. Take the time to personalize your message so it reflects your sincere appreciation and the reason why you are writing.