Post-Interview Thank You Note Do’s and Don’ts

By: Alexandra Bradbury, DePaul University Organizational Communication major, American Studies major ’19 and Career Center Communications Assistant

It is not uncommon for a hiring manager to completely dismiss a candidate because they did not receive a thank you note. The interview isn’t over when you leave the room. Writing a post-interview thank you is essential to show your professionalism, writing skills, and character.

We spoke with Sherry D’Amico, Co-Founder and Consultant at The Etiquette School of Chicago, to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of post-interview thank you emails.

1.pngBe prompt

Make sure you send your thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. Hiring managers move quickly. Send your thank you as soon as possible to put yourself in the best position to be hired.

Use a professional subject line and email address

Your subject line will vary depending on the job industry and the tone of your interview. For example, if you are applying to a large company in the finance industry and your interview was formal, you’ll want a formal subject line, such as “Thank you – [Position Title].” If you are applying to a small technology start-up and your interview was informal, your subject line can be more relaxed, such as “Great speaking with you.” Make sure you are using a professional email address so the interviewer recognizes who you are.

State your interest and summarize your best qualifications

You should describe why you want the position, what your qualifications are, why you are a great fit, and how you would make significant contributions.

Provide links

The follow-up note is a good opportunity to showcase your personal brand. Attach links to your online portfolio, website, LinkedIn or other professional profiles to highlight your experience, skills, and personality.

Be precise and concise

Limit your note to 2-3 short paragraphs and include specific takeaways from the interview. For example, mention how you could help with a project your interviewer mentioned. Specificity demonstrates that you understand the needs of the position and company based on your conversation.

Send a thank you note to each interviewer

Sending a generic note may hurt your chances of landing the job. You should tailor the note to each person you interviewed with and make them unique.

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Forget to proofread

Sending a thank you note via email has many benefits, but it may cause you to send a note in haste and forget to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Errors in your note may lead the hiring manager to think that you are unprofessional, lazy, or a lousy writer. Make sure that you are proofreading your email and ask someone to take a second look for mistakes you might have missed.

Ask about salary or benefits

You weren’t offered the job yet, so your thank you note is not the time or medium to negotiate your salary or benefits.

Send gifts

Say “thank you” using words, not a plant or a fruit basket. Sending gifts may make the manager feel uncomfortable, make you appear desperate, or seem like bribery.

Send a note via text message

While sending a thank you note via email is encouraged, sending a thank you note via text is too casual and informal. Texting the hiring manager can seriously harm your professional image.

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Try using this template from the Job Search Letter Packet to help you get started.

Subject line: Thank you for the interview

Dear Ms. Locke,

Thank you for taking time out of your day to meet with me yesterday regarding the Archivist position within your organization.

I truly enjoyed learning more about the opportunity, as well as the growth and development happening within Chicago’s non-profit sector. As someone who has spent the last four years studying Communication and Media at DePaul University, it was empowering to learn about the role Archivists are playing in these exciting trends. I also appreciated meeting with your assistant, William, as he provided me with great insight into the specific roles within your organization.

Meeting with you reaffirmed my interest in working for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and I am very thankful to be considered for this opportunity. As was evident in my resume and conveyed during my interview, I have a passion for community development and have developed strong multimedia documentation skills through my coursework.  I am confident that I would be able to use these experiences to add value to your organization, especially with regards to the public art project you outlined during our conversation.

It would be a privilege to work with you and your team. Thank you again for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely

Alexandra Bradbury

abradbury111@depaul.edu

(773) 555-5555

 

A little gratitude can go a long way. Writing a prompt, appropriate, and genuine post-interview thank you email can set you apart from other candidates. Have more questions about thank you letters or other aspects of the job search process? Visit the Career Center website or connect with a Peer Career Advisor to help you land the job!

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making at Work

By: Alexandra Bradbury, DePaul University Organizational Communication major, American Studies major ’19 and Career Center Communications Assistant

Appropriate behavior and professionalism in the workplace may seem like common sense. We know not to arrive three hours late in our favorite plaid pajama pants and take a four hour lunch break. But, professionalism extends far beyond these obvious offenses.

We sat down with Sarah Carbone, the Associate Director of Student Employment and EDGE at DePaul, to uncover the less obvious, but common, mistakes people make in the workplace.

1. Wearing Unprofessional Clothing

Although workplaces are becoming more casual, it is still important to dress professionally. Never assume the attire is casual and never push the envelope when it comes to your clothes – if you look in the mirror and you’re on the fence, don’t wear it. Sarah believes that professional attire can have an impact on your mindset, productivity, and confidence. Whether it’s a phone interview, in-person interview, or a day at the office, wear an appropriate professional outfit to make a good impression and feel like your best self.

2. Gossiping About Coworkers

Remember when adults used to tell you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” This adage also applies to your job or internship. Gossiping can damage your credibility, causing others to see you as untrustworthy or unprofessional. Avoiding gossip is particularly important if you are an intern. Gossiping about your superiors or coworkers could sabotage your chance at a full-time offer. Sarah encourages employees to “be respectful, even if you disagree.”

3. Getting Distracted

When was the last time your phone was more than a foot away from you for a long period of time? Fight the urge to use your phone for personal matters at work. Sarah’s reminder is that “in most office settings, anyone can walk by your desk at any time.” If your co-workers or superiors see you scrolling through Twitter, it can communicate that you are distracted or unmotivated and damage your reputation.

Business people distracted with their smartphones

4. Losing Track of Time

Managing your time involves prioritization, communication, and taking initiative. Sarah advocates for prioritizing tasks according to deadlines. Rather than starting with the most enjoyable task, tackle the project with the nearest deadline to avoid rushing through your work and delivering a mediocre end result. It is also important to engage in constant communication with your supervisor. Make sure you’re keeping them updated on the status of your projects and tasks. Instead of spending your downtime mindlessly scrolling through social media, Sarah encourages you to ask your supervisor for more tasks to boost your skills.

5. Resigning Unprofessionally

Even if you’re miserable, you shouldn’t ghost your employer. If you plan to leave your job, it’s critical that you give two weeks notice to your supervisor during a face-to-face meeting and write a formal resignation letter after you meet. Even if you don’t enjoy the job you’re leaving, it’s an experience you can learn from.

We all make mistakes. But luckily, these five mistakes are easily avoidable. Lingering questions about workplace professionalism or any other career concerns? The Career Center is here to help. Visit our website or stop by the Career Center for more information on how to be a stellar employee!

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