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Thank You/Follow-up Letters: What do They Have to do with Landing a Job?

Content follow up thank you letter

The Importance of Thank-You Letters

Although you are headed in the right direction by getting your resume and cover letter done professionally, the one important thing that many job-seekers fail to remember is how important thank-you letters or post cards are to the business-2-business relationship.

Think of the H.R. manager who sits and sifts through hundreds or thousands of resumes a week, and then they come across a snail-mail thank you letter on their desk, or a postcard with your smiling face looking out saying how much you appreciate their time.

Who do you think is going to leave the greater impression? It will be whoever sent the real card or letter more than likely.

Top Three Times to send Thank-You Letters—and Why

Thank you letters take the old stuffy way of formal correspondence and makes building the business relationship a more friendly, social type tradition. Today, social communication is everything and when employers see that trait in applicants, bells go off.

But what other times, besides social connectivity, are reasons to send thank you letters?

1. Thank you letters before interviews:

This should be done depending on the circumstances. For instance-

You are at a dinner party and are introduced to the owner of a big company. He invites you to look him up for prospective jobs he has available.

Before you get the resume and cover letter ready to send to his company, send a thank you letter, not an emailed one, a real one he has to open up and hold in his hand.

Dear Mr. Holloway

It was a pleasure finally meeting you at the Doss’s dinner party the other night. Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position available in your production company.

I want you to know that this is the sort of job I have been looking for and I am enthusiastic about the possibility of working for you.

Now that we have had the chance to talk, I am convinced that I have both the experience and skills to fit nicely into your organization and become productive quickly.

The process building essentials I produced for others, I am confident are what your company needs.

Thanks again for the invitation,

John Basil

(555) 234- 5678


- Sample Thank You Letter/Before Interview

Remind him of how nice it was to finally meet him, and that you were grateful for his invitation to apply to his company. Do not send you resume along with this thank-you note, do not mix your sincere thanks with a business dealing, it weakens it. What can be inside this note is a small card that you can make yourself, with your name, phone, and email address with a compound list with the gist of your qualifications. Just 2-4 lines max.

2. Thank-you letters after interviews:

The best time to send a thank-you letter, even if it is a thank you letter after a phone interview, is right after it is over. Don’t wait a week, do it as soon as you get home.

Here’s why:

  • Sending a thank you letter makes a positive impression. It shows the employer that you have good follow-up skills—as well as good manners.
  • It creates yet another opportunity for you to show up in the employer’s space/mind so to speak.
  • It gives you the last word. You get to include a reminder of why you’re the best candidate for the job and can address any concerns that might have come up during the interview.
  • Losing your papers-resume/ letters is a possibility in large companies, sending them a thank-you card with a small card with your abilities and information gives them a chance to give you another look.

For this reason, send a thank you letter within 24 hrs. of the interview, your mind is fresh, and so is theirs. You want to reinforce the interview so sending this follow up letter after the interview you are giving them an immediate second look.

August 27, 2016

Dear Mr. Holloway,

Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position available in your production department. I want you to know that this is the sort of job I have been looking for and I am enthusiastic about the possibility of working for you.

Now that we have had the chance to talk, I am convinced that I have both the experience and skills to fit nicely into your organization and become productive quickly.

The process building essentials I produced for others, I am confident are what your company needs.

Thanks again for the invitation,

John Basil

(555) 234- 5678

- Sample Thank You Letter After an Interview

3. Thank those that helped you in your job search.

Many times there is a group of people that are involved in helping you land your job.

From your resume writer to the guy that introduced and referred you to Mr. Holloway, keep those bridges built, you never know when you may have to cross them again.

When it is someone you know personally like a family member or pastor, or even your professors, a phone call is a good first part of your showing appreciation, then follow up with a follow-up thank you letter or a greeting card.

August 28, 2016

2227 East Lane Dr.

Philadelphia PA. 18987


Ms. Elaine Doss

6687 Brasno Pl.

Philadelphia PA 19856


Dear Elaine,

Thank you for the invitation and chance to meet with your employer, Mr. Holloway, I think I have a good chance of landing a job in your company due to your referral.  He has already granted me a 2nd interview.

The information you shared with me about what to bring to the first interview was golden. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Your Friend,

John Basil

- Sample Thank You Letter to an Acquaintance

When sending this type of thank you it is good to send along your JIST cards. These are cards that give a brief summary of what your abilities are usually placed or created on 3 x 5 cards. They should have a short statement of who you are and what you do, that way your acquaintance can keep putting feelers out for you.

4. How to Write a Thank-you Follow up Letter

But how do I write the kind of letters that get results you may ask. There are different letters for different situations. This list of hints and expert resume writing service will help you get started on the one that fits yours. 

Snail-mail or E-mail?

Consider the timing and how well you know the person. Will it be informal or formal? Is it to an individual, or to an organization?

Is there an interview coming up and you need to get the letter of thanks there before snail mail can deliver?

Is the job bring filled soon? If so e-mail may be the best things to do.

The only reason to use snail mail is if there is no hurry, and we suggest you follow up the old fashioned way no matter what happens.

Your Quality Shows in Your Tools

Show that you have pride in what you do. Use good quality paper, not only when sending thank-you letters, but also with your resumes and cover letters. Low light colors like off-white or beige are nice on the eyes.

Don’t Handwrite It

The tradition has been to hand write letters, but not today. If it is someone close to you, then traditional is the way to go, but if it is an organization or business person, use a regular, formal word processed letter.

Open with a Formal Salutation

Never use a first name unless you are close to the person. If they have already asked you to use their first name, it is then okay. Dear Ms. David, instead of Dear Lisa is the acceptable salutation.

Make it Short but Friendly

Keep your hard sell and who you are for the interview, this is just an thank you note, it is about showing how much you appreciate the person you are sending it to, and a chance to get in the last word. Don’t make it long and drawn out, keep it light.

Add something in the thank-you letter that you remembered about the last meeting with the person. If you are going to see them soon, add that you look forward to that meeting. Click here for examples.

Sign It

This is not a time to be informal by using initials. Sign you first and last name and add you phone number again under your name and e-mail address. If your art is involved in getting this job, add artwork to you signature.

Good outcome or not, send it

No matter what happens after the interview, send a thank you expressing your thanks for the time involved in considering you for the position.

There may come a time when a job comes up that you will be a good fit for and if you have left a good impression, you name will be remembered.

Business Follow Up Letters

Another type of Correspondence that is essential to the job search, is the follow-up letter that gives the company a look into what you can offer them on a more comprehensive level.

After your interview, draft a letter listing some of the problems that you heard mentioned during the meeting from your prospective employer. They may have talked about a specific problem that you may have a solution for. Also, in this follow-up letter, give a detailed synopsis of what you would implement in their company to help with their problem, and offer a proposal with details of how you would go about it if hired. 

Explain what qualities and skills you are going to use. Don`t forget to mention if you have acquired them while working at your previous job. It will give your future employer a better understanding of what to expect from you. For instance, if you worked at a digital marketing agency and have built an extended network of email marketing contacts write about it. The employer may not be interested in the email marketing contacts list itself but in your ability to make professional connections from scratch. Along with this letter send another copy of your resume.


If requested, send a sample of your writing in a follow-up letter. Never send originals, and don’t expect copies to be returned unless you send a SASE. It is a good idea during your academic years and throughout your work history to build a portfolio or your work so that it is ready for when employers ask for it. Keep copies of everything you own, especially when dealing with intellectual property.

List of References Letter

Prepare a letter with a list of your references to be sent to your possible employers if requested. This is an actual letter and should be updated and phone numbers checked each time one is requested. Today, people change their cell phone numbers quickly.

Discuss with the people on your reference list whether or not they are going to be giving you positive feedback in advance, if not get them off of your list. You should know who will speak highly of you, but it’s better to ask.

Letters from past employers

You may think that your last employer was satisfied with your work, but be sure. Although employers are legally bound to not give out information about you, you do not want to waste time putting them on your list as a reference and allowing them to release information to your new employer without discussing what they would likely put in a letter of reference. Even if you`re not sure how to write my resume, don`t include the unnecessary contacts in the text.

Many times all it takes is a visit to your old bosses’ office, if possible, and asking for a reference, even if your work there was not as highly satisfying as you thought. They may be able to understand that you need a new job and not give you a good reference.

Unsolicited Letters/Badgering the company

Do not be a pest. Lots of resume books say, send out many, many resumes, there are even apps that will shoot them out for you in intervals and times you choose. This is not a good idea, you will be labeled a pest, and pests are cut off, and it just does not always work out well for the person doing so.

We find that networking is the best way to find a job today. Send your letters to people that you have met in college, they come from all over the world. Send them a list of your contacts and make the network bigger by combining networks.

Professional groups like this normally grow fast and help one another find jobs fast. Don’t forget to send thank you letters to them.



About the author:

Silvia Giltner is a former HR manager and professional writer who delivers resume and coaching services at Resumes Centre. Her passion is to help people make a career change and get jobs they truly love by showing them how to take a full control over their careers. Check her expertise on our blog!