How to Write a Thank You Note

Learn what to say and how to say it when you want to send a thank you note.

Lisa B. Marshall
6-minute read
Episode #102

Today’s article comes directly from new The Public Speaker fan Eric Linna who asked, “Any tips on after-the-interview thank you letters?”

How to Write Thank You Notes

Eric, first, thanks for listening to the show and thanks for your question. It always makes my day when someone posts a message on Facebook letting me know how I’ve helped them. Thanks for letting me know which episodes have been helping you with your interviewing process. (BTW: Have you considered buying my audiobook, The Public Speaker’s Guide to Ace Your Interview? <smile> I know, subtle, right?)

Anyway, I’m sincerely glad you posted to The Public Speaker Facebook page and are now part of my network. Oh and yes, I’ve got some quick and dirty tips for writing a thank you note.

Hey, did you notice? I just wrote you a thank-you note! I know, I know, you asked about an after the interview thank-you note, and I’ll talk about that too. But before I jump into what should be included, first I want to quickly talk about why it’s important to send thank you notes. 

Why You Should Write Thank You Notes  

Of course, the primary reason for sending a thank  you note is share your gratitude. Appreciation and thankfulness are important in all relationships. A sincerely written thank you note can deepen both personal and professional relationships. Besides, it’s just plain mannerly to articulate your appreciation by writing a thank you note when someone has given you help, a gift, or time (like when interviewing).

Should You Write a Thank You Note After an Interview?

Specifically in the case of interviews, there are additional reasons to write the thank you note. Perhaps most importantly, a thank you note extends the interview by reinforcing who you are in the memory and minds of the people who interviewed you (don’t forget often there are many candidates and they do tend to blur together in the mind of an interviewer). It also gives you the opportunity to, again, explain why you are such a great fit for the position. Once you’ve had the opportunity to learn details about the company, the position, and the roles of your interviewers, you should be in a much better position to specifically explain to each one why he or she should endorse you as their top candidate. 

Writing the thank you note also provides you an opportunity to express your interest in the position--if you want it of course. I know people who have been passed over for positions because it wasn’t clear from the interviewer’s perspective whether the candidate really wanted the job. So if you want it, you need to explicitly express your interest. While expressing your interest in the position, also express your enthusiasm for the chance to work for that particular company and for that particular hiring manager. Finally, a good thank you note allows you to demonstrate that you are detail oriented, organized, and good with follow up, which for some positions--such as sales or project management--might be an important skill needed to be successful in the position.

To be clear, I don’t think a well-written thank you note will win you the job; however, you should be aware that some people will not hire you if you don’t send a thank you note or if the thank you note is poorly written

What Should You Say In a Thank You Note?

So why take the risk when it’s easy to write a thank you note when you follow my quick and dirty steps. 


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.