At this point in the semester, you’re probably looking around for internships or jobs for the summer to build a little experience. Or, you’re looking for your first real-world, grown-up job or post-college internship. Either way, we’re in the same boat, my friend. Submitting an application and moving to the interview phase of the process can be so exciting, but also so overwhelming. Your resume and cover letter were good enough to earn you a conversation (in-person or over the phone) with the hiring manager, editor, or whoever your superior might be (p.s., I’ve got tips for writing both resumes and cover letters that you should check out!). And even if you really shine during your interview, the next couple of hours afterward are absolutely crucial for one reason…
Your thank you note!
I know a lot of people actually overlook thank you notes (as in, they think it’s old-fashioned and they don’t need to send one in 2018, or they don’t even know that sending thank you notes is an actual thing). In fact, I read an article once that suggested thank you emails and notes as the thing to do if you’re really serious about getting the position. The article recommended sending the note within 24 hours after your interview. And, some hiring managers who weighed in on the article even said that if they don’t receive a thank you email from the person they interviewed, they sometimes assume that the person didn’t care enough about the position they interviewed for. And nothing screams job-killer like a recruiter who thinks you don’t give a crap.
I found this tidbit both exciting and a bit nerve-wrecking. Exciting because I love writing thank you notes and emails, but nerve-wrecking because now I know that most recruiters expect one. I know it can be hard to think of the right kind of language to include in your email—like, are you literally supposed to say “Dear so-and-so, thank you for your time interviewing me today. Best Regards!”? To put it frankly, no. So today in this post I’m sharing tips for creating the perfect thank you email for sending to interviewers. And, if you’re also interested in learning more about my internship experiences, check out my post on How I Landed A Beauty + Fashion Internship In NYC.
1. Keep it short and sweet.
Like me! Okay, I’m not actually that short. I’m actually just under the average height for girls—missed it by, like, an inch. But anyways, make sure your note is literally just a couple of sentences—four is perfect; five is the limit. The hiring manager absolutely does not have the time to read your five-paragraph essay with an intro and conclusion just thanking them for their time and reminding them why you’re the perfect fit for their company. Believe me, shorter is better. Also, I forgot to say this in my intro, but I absolutely don’t think I know everything there is to know about getting hired for a job or internship, so if you feel like you should take what I say with a grain of salt, by all means, you do you, girl (or dude). But just know that I wouldn’t give you a tip or piece of advice without trying it myself. 🙂
2. Start by thanking them for their time.
Say something like, “I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you earlier about ABC position at XYZ company.” After you greet them in your email, of course. You can create any variation of that sentence that you want, but I like saying this because it’s simple and short. Also, pro tip: make sure you got their business card with their email on it during the interview! This way, you can send your thank you email without having to guess what their contact info is.
3. Reiterate the highlight of your conversation.
I know that interviews tend to feel like they went by in a blur, but if you can recall that one moment in your interview when you were like, “oh yea, I’ve totally got this,” then use that here. Think about what the best part of the conversation was, or if you said something that you noticed them react very positively to. This will remind them why you’re the best fit for the position.
4. Give them an extra good-to-know tidbit about yourself.
Maybe there was something they brought up during the interview that you have experience with but for some reason forgot to say—I don’t know, things can happen! Or maybe you just remembered another secret skill that you have that would really make you the cherry on top of this company’s ice cream sundae. This is where you give them that bit. You can say something like, “I was excited to hear that your position required XYZ skills, which I have developed due to my experiences with ABC.”
5. Thank them, again.
Just give ’em one last line of thanks. You can also say that you look forward to moving to the next phase of the application process. I used to feel like this sounded kind of arrogant, but then I read that you shouldn’t use phrases like “I hope,” “I feel that,” “think that,” or “I believe” in cover letters or emails to a hiring manager because you should show more confidence than that. I mean, hiring managers are pretty awesome but I don’t think they have the ability to smell fear through an email (yet. Though, they are good at sniffing out bullshit, so make sure you keep it real!). What I’m saying is, I don’t think they’re going to declare you as not confident enough for the position just because you said, “I hope to move to the next round.” But if I’ve just made you paranoid about those sentences with “hope” and “feel” then feel free to cut them out altogether.
6. Send the email early in the morning.
This is probably when the hiring manager is most likely to be checking their email, and it’s still within the 24-hour “window” for sending a follow-up thank you. They’ll be more likely to read it since it’ll be less likely to get buried in their inbox. Even if they don’t respond to you, it’s the thought that counts.
7. Make sure your email signature is rife with information about you.
Okay, this point isn’t exactly about the thank you note itself, but I thought I’d include it here since I don’t think I’ve ever talked about email signatures at all on this blog. Aside from just your name and current title, your email signature should include your phone number, LinkedIn and portfolio link at the very least. If you’re still in college, include the name of your college and graduating semester. If you have social media accounts for professional use, include them here as well. This will help the hiring manager get to know you more. They could decide to take a quick click over to your Twitter and—who knows—they may find a tweet that they really liked or thought was really intelligent. Anything helps.
I hope you found these tips helpful! I really love writing career and internship tips because, honestly, I can go on and on about resumes, cover letters and interviews (y’all are lucky you’ve never met me in person). If you have specific questions, comment them below or email me! Or you can message me just to say hi. I love emails that say hi.
Anyways, be sure to also check out my post on How To Dress Professionally On A College Budget so you can dress to impress during that interview!
What are your tips for sending thank you notes? What other kinds of career/internship posts do you want to see?