During your childhood, your parents taught you many little lessons to help you succeed in life. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Lay your clothes out the night before. Pay your taxes (on time). Blow candles out before you go to sleep. Chew with your mouth closed. Tie a bright-colored ribbon to your luggage. Always wear clean underwear. Say please and thank you. Make your bed in the morning.
Big yawn, right? As a kid, much of this advice seemed trivial, but as we grew older, we began to recognize the value in all those little lessons. I have one more seemingly insignificant, yet worthwhile piece of advice to add to your ever-growing list of lifehacks: send a thank you email within the first 24 hours of a job interview.
I always write a thank you letter for every job I interview for. At first it felt silly and unnecessary, especially when I wrote a thank you letter for my first job at a workout facility called Planet Fitness. I'd been on the job hunt for what seemed like ages. I didn’t have any work experience, so I had to find another way to grab the attention of the hiring manager. What did I do? I turned to the most reliable resource I know -- Google. Search engine results recommended resume editing, asking questions at the end of interviews, and sending a thank you email.
So, after a very shaky interview, I put the advice to practice, and wrote a thank you email to the Planet Fitness hiring manager. A couple weeks later, I received a call. I got the job!
Months later, after working at Planet Fitness, my manager teased me about the thank you email, but admitted that it actually influenced his decision to hire me. After that experience, I made it a hard rule to always send an email following every interview, no matter the job.
So, why should you always write a thank you email? If I haven’t convinced you yet, let these lyrical lessons from a few of my favorite artists explain it all.
Shine Bright Like a Diamond (Rihanna)
You had a good -- no a great interview, and you might be feeling victorious. You slayed that interview *insert finger snap here*. You said all the right things, you bonded with the interviewer over sneakers and Star Wars, AND you solved the almost insoluble algorithm. But, don’t pop the bubbly just yet; a few other candidates also had great interviews, and it might be difficult for the interviewer to distinguish your great interview from the other great interviews. Sending that thank you email will set you apart from the other candidates, remind interviewers of your strengths, and make you more memorable.
Little Things (One Direction)
Writing a thank you email allows you to attest to the character you bragged about during the interview. You do have good communications skills, you can follow through, you are detail-oriented, you are exceedingly professional, and you understand how to exemplify all those skills in one email. Most importantly, the thank you email shows how much you truly care about joining the company, the team, your career development, and the company’s success.
Remember the Time (Michael Jackson)
Interviews usually last from 30 minutes to an hour with one person. That’s not nearly enough time for the interviewer to explain the job description, expectations, test your knowledge, and get to know everything they can about you and your experience. You had so much to say about yourself, like about the time you started an organization at college or that you’re also familiar with Hadoop, but the allotted time was not enough. The thank you email is the perfect moment to rehash your strengths and introduce new ones.
Okay, now are you convinced? Great! If you need a little help getting started, here’s a thank you email sample that you can utilize next time you have an interview.
Thank You Email Sample:
Subject: Thank you: [Job Title] Interview on [Interview Date]
Dear [Recruiter/ Hiring Manager]:
Thank you so much for your time yesterday interviewing me for the position of [Job Title]. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about this job, to meet you and [Recruiter/ Hiring Manager], and to see your office.
[This next paragraph should re-visit and highlight some of the skills you mentioned during the interview to keep them fresh on the recruiter's and hiring manager's minds. This would also be the place to mention any skills you may not have been able to mention. Here's a sample first paragraph with examples for a graphic designer]: As we discussed, I’m a self-taught artist with an eye for detail. I was fascinated by [company name's] use of augmented reality. I’m interested in applying my artistic skills to advanced technology and to solve real-world problems. I understand that research is a main component for this position. Increasing research to help [company name] find solutions for the [company industry] would be a top priority for the person with this internship. I would love to dig deeper into finding the best design solutions for [company industry].
[Add a personal note or tidbit of information you learned during the interview to paragraph 2 to let the hiring manager/ recruiter know you were listening and add a personal touch to the email]: I enjoyed finding someone else who attended my college and also roots for the dance team. Hope they win their next competition!
[Your final paragraph should wrap up with a refresh of your experience to remind the manager or recruiter of your qualifications]: As we discussed, I have 2 years of experience with Photoshop and InDesign. With my background and experience, I believe that I could contribute remarkable work to your team.
I am excited about this opportunity to join [company name] . Please don't hesitate to email or call me if you have any questions or need any additional information.
I look forward to hearing from you [in 10 days/ two weeks. Feel free to include the timeframe that the recruiter or hiring manager gave you as a gentle reminder, and to let them know you'll be looking out for their response].
[LinkedIn Profile Link]
Before you leave the interview, make sure to ask for the interviewer’s card or email address so you’re not scouring the internet for their contact info. After sending the thank you email, let it work its magic. You might get a response back, but don’t fret if you don’t. If you don’t get hired even though you sent the thank you letter, that’s okay! You’ve established a good connection with the interviewer and left off on a good note. Plus, the company may remember you the next time an oppurtunity comes up.