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Thank-you letters

Thank-you letters

Send thank-you letters or notes to everyone helping you, to:

  1. Express your appreciation for their help
  2. Keep them up-to-date on your activities
  3. Retain their support

Thank-you letters can be typed, handwritten, or emailed. A word-processed letter is the most formal and is generally always appropriate. Handwritten letters are more personal and may be appropriate for brief notes. Letters sent via email are acceptable when email has been your means of contact with the individual you wish to thank, when your contact may have indicated a preference for email, or when you would like to send a quick thank you before following up with a typed or handwritten letter. Ensure you have the correct email address for the intended recipient. Format your email as you would a typed letter. Remain professional and do not use emojis or acronyms (such as “TIA” for “thanks in advance”). Try to keep the message to one screen length.

Remember: emails tend to be read quickly and deleted, but a letter or note may be placed in a file.

Thank-you letters in response to telephone conversations and informational interviews should be short. Mention one or more helpful points you learned and convey your appreciation for the person’s assistance. Be sure to send your letter within one or two days of your meeting.

Acknowledge in writing your appreciation to a networking contact who gave you tips on job openings and who is hiring, or who referred you to others who can help.

Thank people who have agreed to provide references for you or to speak on your behalf. Make sure you know what they will say about you. Is it accurate and complimentary? Always keep this group of people informed about your activities. For example, after an employer asks for your list of references, call those on your list with details about the position so that they will be able to tailor their information.

Thank-you letter for a job interview

Use this letter, to confirm your interest in the position, to summarize your main credentials, and to express your desire to be included in the next step of the interview process or to be offered the job.

Promptly after an interview, send a letter that builds upon the strengths you discussed in the interview. You can also mention additional information that was not covered in your interview. Remind the interviewer of your qualifications for the position and how the company could benefit. Always express appreciation to interviewers for the time and courtesy shown to you (e.g., tours, lunch).

A thank-you letter for a job interview should include:

  1. An opening paragraph in which you state the name of the employer, mention the date of the interview, and express your appreciation for the interview
  2. A second paragraph that reaffirms your understanding of the position’s requirements and emphasizes your qualifications. Here is where you can add an important piece of information that you may have forgotten to discuss in the interview
  3. If necessary, a third paragraph to correct any misunderstandings the interviewer may have following your interview. This paragraph can also be used to counter an objection the interviewer may have raised
  4. A final paragraph to express your interest in and enthusiasm for the position and the company
University of Waterloo

Centre for Career Development