So you’ve had the job interview — now what? Should you just sit back and wait for the recruiter to call you, or is there something you can do in the meantime?
In fact, there is something you can do: you can send a followup thank you email.
“A followup thank you email is essentially a note that thanks your interviewers for their time and expresses your enthusiasm for the job,” Paul Wolfe, Indeed’s senior vice-president of human resources. “If you’re genuinely interested in the position and want to emphasize that further, it’s good practice to send a quick thank you note.”
Sending the followup thank you note shows the recruiter or hiring manager that you’re engaged in the interview process, Wolfe says, and that you’re excited about the opportunity. It also helps encourage open lines of communications during a lengthy interview process.
According to Wolfe, there are three kinds of thank-you followup emails.
The first is one you send 24 hours after your interview expressing your thanks and enthusiasm, Wolfe explains.
The second is a check-in email if you haven’t heard back in a few weeks.
The third, Wolfe says, is if you didn’t get the job you can send a “stay-in-touch” followup, which is a great way to expand your network and learn how to improve your chances the next time.
So what should this type of followup email look and sound like?
Wolfe says the note should begin with the name of the person who interviewed you. If you’re on a first name basis then using their first name is fine, otherwise, stick to formal titles.
In terms of length, you can send a short version or a long version.
If you want to send a short note, include:
- A mention of the specific job title and thank your interviewer.
- The company’s name as well as a conversation point and/or goal that seemed important to the person you spoke with. Connect that point to your experience and interests.
- Invite them to ask you any additional questions and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing back.
In the longer version, however, you’ll have more of an opportunity to explain your skills in detail Wolfe says, so include the following:
- A thank you to your interviewer for their time and express your continued interest in the job and company.
- Something from the conversation, again, to expand on. Get as specific as possible while keeping it short and to the point.
- A closing summary statement on what sets you apart as a candidate and what you’ll bring to this new opportunity.
In either version, you’ll want to make sure you highlight how you are fit for the role, Wolfe says.
“Briefly summarize why you think your skills and experience are fit for the role,” he says. “Refer to our notes from the interview and the job description to choose words that will resonate with the hiring manager.”
This is also your chance to elaborate on a key skill or add something you forgot to say during the interview.
Also, communicate your enthusiasm for the job.
“Restate your interest in the job and your conviction that you are the right fit for the position,” he says. “Think about what makes you excited to take on the job, and convey that in your followup.”
Lastly, proofread before you send that note.