The interview is not over when you’ve shaken the hiring manager’s hand and walked out the door– it’s over when you’ve sent them a thank you note.

Thank you notes are not just a polite gesture but an essential part of securing a job. Though you can’t change the impression you made during the interview with a thank you note, you can reinforce any positive impressions you made on the hiring manager. On the flip side, you can create a negative impression simply by sending a rushed or tone-deaf thank you note, or by not sending one at all. Although your recruiter will serve as a good resource when it comes time to write them, here are some tips to help you write a deal-closing thank you note.

  • Send your thank you note within two days of the interview. Ideally, you would send your thank you note the morning following the interview. Sending it any later will raise red flags, since it is convention to send a thank you note within that time frame.
  • Send your thank you note to every person who interviewed you. Pay attention to the name and title of each person you meet with during your interview, and try to find their direct email address– sending it to is the same as not sending a thank you note at all. If you run into trouble, contact your recruiter for the information. Everyone who interviews you will probably be involved in the hiring decision, so make sure you don’t leave anyone out.
  • Be grateful. Interviewing a candidate, especially for a high-level or technical position, can be time consuming for the interviewer. Let them know that you appreciate the time they set aside to meet with you.
  • Make it sound like you paid attention during the interview. Include details from your meeting– like, “I enjoyed learning about your business development goals for Company X, particularly your plans to expand into the federal sector,” or, “I appreciate the time you took to discuss my background in internal audit and how it aligns with Company X’s growth goals”– to keep your message personal and to signal to them that you are interested in the role.
  • Be confident – but not too confident. It’s smart to include a quick sentence that reiterates why you would be a good fit for the job, but avoid coming across as though you already have the job.
  • Make sure someone proofreads your note. Hopefully, you are already running all your professional correspondence by someone else’s eyes, but it is particularly important you have someone read through your thank you note since the stakes are much higher. And of course, make sure you submit it to your recruiter for approval!

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