Mastering The Art (And Science) Of Thank-You Letters

Mastering The Art (And Science) Of Thank You Letters


After interviews, job seekers typically send nondescript, cookie-cutter thank-you notes: “It was a pleasure meeting you and I appreciate the time you spent speaking with me. I know I can add significant value to your team,” but, these letters are often disregarded and turn out to be a waste of time.

To ensure your letters stand out from the competition, it is important to rethink how you approach them.

Understand the purpose of your thank-you letters is to get you another meeting and to further sell yourself into that position, which can easily be accomplished if you incorporate a new spin on the thank-you letters of ol’.

Here are three ways to turn bland and ineffective thank you letters into offer-winning sales documents:

Overcome Objections:

“You’re right. I do not have experience selling HR solutions, but I can assure you in my current and previous roles I successfully sold products and services that were new to me. My approach? Learn what makes that service unique and how it fills a void for the client; once I know that, I can sell benefits which, rather than features, naturally address the true concerns of the client.”

Share How You Have Solved A Similar Problem:

“I have met the challenges of employee retention you are currently facing in your department. As a VP of Human Resources at XY Corporation, I made employee recognition frequent and peer-driven by forming committees and programs for employees to recognize each other with various awards (such as “above and beyond the call of duty”), improving employee retention 15% in two years.”

Highlight Qualifications Missed In Interview:

“During our fast-paced, exciting discussion, I was remiss in telling you I spent much of my childhood in Hong Kong and have been back many times as an adult. I am very comfortable with international travel and am in a place in my life where I would welcome it. Given your aggressive goal to double your current revenue in international markets such as Hong Kong, I feel I would be a natural fit.”

After the interview is no time to stop selling. In fact, it is the ideal time to address objections, share an idea/proposal, explain how you have already done the job and, lest I forget, thank them for their time.

Remember, the purpose of a thank-you letter is to get you to the next meeting, so keep your letters interesting, compelling and unique and ditch the bland and boring ones!

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Laura Labovich

Laura Labovich, founder of Aspire! Empower!, is a job search career coach & HR professional with over 15 years of experience in HR at Fortune 100 companies.


  1. Great article. I would add that if your handwriting is neat and legible…always go with a handwritten thank you note. That you took the time to personally put pen to paper or card will definitely impress!

  2. This is a great article! Very much so a help in my situation! My only question is, what if there isn’t enough time to write a letter and send it in? I was just interviewed a day ago and they told me they’d call me back with a decision on Veterans Day. Would a thank you letter still be recommended with the amount of time given? Thank you!

  3. Leslie-Anne McKenzie

    This is an excellent article on reminding job seekers how to put themselves in front of the employer one more time. If it the employer is down to “the final 2″ which one will stand out more? That’s right, the one who did the follow-up.
    Thank-you letters should also be sent to anyone who has provided a lead or accepted an informational interview. The same principle applies, the thank-you letter will have the job seeker out front in a positive way.

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