Guidelines for Writing a Professional Thank You

Guidelines for Writing a Professional Thank-You

 

A thank-you note can make a candidate stand out from the rest of the pool by demonstrating your professionalism, follow-through, and interest. Thank-you notes should be sent as soon as possible after the interview and before the hiring decision is made. Well-written notes should say more than "thank you." There are many opinions about what to say; however, here are some elements to consider:

 

  • Express Enthusiasm: Remind the interviewer that you are a good fit for the school or district and that you have continued interest in and enthusiasm for the position. It is one more chance to market yourself in a tangible way.
  • Answer Unresolved Issues: Answer and expand upon any relevant questions raised in the interview. If you did not get a chance to mention certain points, you can now address those items. The thank-you note is your chance to expand on that positive 'first' impression.
  • Express Sincerity: Be genuine and sincere in your gratitude. Comment on the importance of the meeting.
  • Personalize It: Highlight a key point from your meeting that was unique and meaningful. This will refresh the interviewer's memory of you. Interviewers are typically impressed with proof that candidates listen and remember the conversation. If you met with several people, it may not be obvious who the real decision-makers are. Make sure you vary slightly the content of each thank-you note. No one likes to receive a carbon copy of a note that everyone else received. This will also force you to remember with whom you interviewed, which will make your follow-up more effective.
  • Keep It Short: Be direct and succinct in your comments as employers appreciate brevity. No more than one page or screen length (if sent via e-mail).

 

Snail Mail or E-mail?

 

Handwritten notes and business letters are acceptable, however a well-written e-mail thank you note is also appropriate. A word of caution: do not make the message overly friendly (many people have a tendency to be less formal with e-mail). Be aware that some employers may prefer the traditional approach. In addition, handwritten, hard copy thank-you notes typically get filed in an applicant's folder. Email thank-you's are easily searchable and easily "sent on" to others involved in the hiring decision. Some offers are made within 24 hours of interviewing, so email thank you's have a "quick" advantage. Select the method that works best for you, just make sure to write one!