Advising & Career Services

Thanks for the Interview: Job Seeker's Edge

For candidates seeking an edge, sending the interviewer a customized thank you letter is critical, according to The Wall Street Journal. You're helping to jog her/his memories of you because recruiters typically interview several candidates for a position and cannot remember all the nuances of each and every interview.


Simply sending a thank you letter isn't enough to stand out from the competition.  The letter has to be both personalized and well-crafted, and on stationery that matches your earlier letter of application and résumé.  

Here are tips to help you:

  • Proofread beyond spelling & grammar

    If you're interviewing with several employers, check that each letter shows the correct company and recruiter name.  A thank you letter addressed to a competitor can be a gaffe that costs the candidate a second interview.  Paying attention to detail is very important!
  • Reiterate your best qualities

    Candidates can get lost in the shuffle, and they are rediscovered when the thank you letter restates their strong points.  A thank you letter is literally the last chance candidates have to sell themselves to employers.
  • Show off your listening skills:

    One candidate photocopied an article from a trade publication to include in his thank you letter.  It spoke to the very issue that he and the interviewer had talked about in their meeting.  It told the recruiter that this candidate was really focused on what was going on in their conversation.
  • Tap into the employer's culture--but keep it professional:

    It's definitely a plus when candidates show they're aware of the culture of the company.  No matter how laid-back a company appears to be, however, it's important that your correspondence follows the rules of proper business etiquette.
  • Write to every executive you meet:

    If you interview with more than one person at a company, send each a customized letter of thanks.  For ideas on what to write, think back to topics discussed during the interview.