What to Include in Your Thank You Letter

The “Thank You Letter of Doom” piece has turned out to be one of the most popular ever on the Work blog. It made very clear what shouldn’t be in a follow up letter – spelling and grammar mistakes are just the start – but didn’t talk about what should be included (at least one reader asked). Here is the structure to follow.

Professional Greeting. This is a business letter, so use a formal greeting followed by a colon, not a comma. “Dear Ms. Jones:” or “Dear Mr. Smith:”

Lead with Thanks. Thank the interviewer for the time and consideration. Explain that you learned a lot and that you are excited about the prospect of working there.

Follow-Up Thoughts. You took notes during the interview, right? Explain how you have been thinking about one or two of the points during your discussion and how you can help the company with those issues. You want to reinforce that you were paying attention and that you can see yourself there making a difference. As importantly, you want Ms. Jones to see it, too.

Example: “As I thought more about our discussion about the Alpha initiative, I realized how my past work on the Phase III project at ABC Company was so closely related. Your company will benefit from the experience and knowledge that I have from that effort.”

Close. Explain that you want the job and will look forward to the next steps. Thank again. Sign off with a professional closing (“Sincerely” works).

Print it. Read it again. Be 100% sure that it is error free. Send it. Wait for your job offer.

Bill Florin is President of Resu-mazing Services Company in Monroe, Connecticut.

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