Thank You Letter

What To Say In A Thank You Card Besides ‘Thank You’


Have you ever felt frustrated after an interview? Sure you have! I know you’ve mentally gone over your interview answers and you remember what you DID NOT say, and you realize you missed an opportunity to REINFORCE your candidacy. Well, this is what to say in a thank you card.

Related: Mastering The Art (And Science) Of Thank You Letters

Of course, it all depends on how badly you’ve screwed things up. Sometimes, there is no backpedaling, but let’s assume for a moment you can recoup or cement your candidacy… what then do you say in your thank you letter besides thank you?

The problem with most thank you letters is they are usually prepared as just a nice gesture.

Saying thank you is a very nice thing to do; it does go a long way, but if written as an ordinary thank you, it is not strategic enough to add another dimension to your candidacy… it leverages not an additional qualifier and doesn’t elevate your interview performance.

In other words, use your thank you opportunity as a last marketing tool in order to gain a competitive distinction.

What To Say In A Thank You Card

Here are a few things you can do to take advantage of the follow-up (thank you) opportunity. Remember, now you have “insider” information you didn’t have prior to the interview – don’t waste it.

When Your Interviewer Shared A Concern

If during the interview process you were told the perfect candidate must meet XYZ and you discussed your lack in one of these areas – you need to talk about this again! Concisely bring it up, reiterate why this would not be a problem, and, in fact, promote how, despite this “weakness,” you are the PERFECT candidate.

When You Did Not Say What You Should Have Said

At times, we reflect and in retrospect recognize where we failed. Well, this is your opportunity. Bring up the topic and say you would like to elaborate, you would like to expand; you had time to think about this and want to convey the following.

When You Think You Sensed Apprehension

This is a bit risky because you could be wrong. Yet, what is life if not risky? If you are very good at ascertaining needs and you KNOW you identified a problem, “smooth” it out! Please do not say you think the interviewer did not understand… you NEVER want to convey you assume to know what others think but you can discuss what YOU failed to communicate.

You can state you would like to clarify a point you wish you had emphasized.

When You Really Just Want To Say, ‘Thank You’

There are times when you were FANTASTIC during an interview and you sincerely just want to say, “Thanks!”

Nevertheless, you don’t know how your competition performed and you are not privy as to what kind of thank you letter they are preparing. So, in this case, thank them but fortify your candidacy even further. You could…

  • Accentuate three of your top qualifications as discussed during the interview. Now you have more information than you did prior to the interview – put it to work for you! Connect your qualifications with employer needs expressed during the interview.
  • Bring up information they shared about the company and express how much more interested you became.
  • Sell them again on the bottom-line goal they need to achieve via your employment. Seal the deal by promising to deliver.

Keep This Thank You Letter Concise

While a sales tool, it does not have to be as elaborate as your resume or cover letter.

Remember, the entire job search process is a strategic marketing effort; leverage every tool and maximize every opportunity.

Related Posts

How To Follow Up After An Interview
How Much Follow Up Is Too Much?
The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is the owner of Career Steering, an executive resume writing service. She's an Elite Master Resume Writer, Certified Expert Resume Writer, Nationally Certified Resume Writer, and Academy Certified Resume Writer.


  1. Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a great
    article… but what can I say… I hesitate a
    lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  2. That’s a really good article, l learned many things about” thank you” l will apply this suggestions. Thank you very much

  3. Kirk, thanks for that comment and the reminder that all good advice should be taken with consideration to each circumstance!

  4. I have gone with the premise – that how you deliver is based on your contact with the business/organization. If small company/ mom & pop type…maybe a snail mailed one – if larger company and communication through e-mail, then an e-mail thank you is always nice. Use your best judgement on who they are and how you’ve communicated thus far. I don’t think you’d ever go wrong snail mailing a thank you card, though – in most places (thinking about comment above). Just remember if you have a group interview…you should send a thank you to each person (take notes, ask for business cards).

  5. I recently went through a selection/hiring process for a county job. As an employee of the same county, different job, I emailed a Thank You after my interview, but before they made a selection, with the selection board, all who were county employees also. I was direct and appreciative highlighting my qualities as a great candidate. The response was unexpected – essentially I was accused of attempting to undermine the entire process with instruction to ALL the board members to NOT open or ignore my email. I was not selected – thank goodness, who wants to work in that kind of environment? Can’t say if that knocked me from consideration. But, use caution!!! Not everyone wants a Thank You.

  6. This is a great article, with helpful suggestions. I believe you cannot miss by sending along a carefully crafted, concise email that captures two or three highlights from the discussion, making sure to bolster the strengths you feel enhance your candidacy. This should happen as soon as you get home from the interview, and you should make sure a personalized rendition of this not goes out to every single person on the committee, and others with whom you had the opportunity to interact for purposes of screening. I would then follow that email within the next day with a very brief thank you note sent by mail. I acquired classic and simple, personalized folding card stationery for that specific purpose. In today’s digital culture, folks expect to hear something ASAP–so you cannot go wrong with the brief yet more detailed email first, followed by an even briefer note on nice stationery shortly thereafter. Good luck!

  7. I too would like to know what is considered more appropriate…to email, hand write or print out a letter? Hand deliver it or snail mail?

  8. Thank you, Rosa, for the very targeted suggestions. I have put some of these to use and you’ve given me insight into others.

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