Recruiter Advice: Sending Interview Thank You Notes

Matt Glodz
Recruiter Advice: Sending Interview Thank You Notes

Writing a Thank You Note After an Interview:  What to Include and When to Send

If you left an interview and are hoping for a callback, sending a thank you note is non-negotiable.

“Don't miss this crucial step in the interview process,” says Ryan Bradshaw, Director of Recruiting for Apollo Technical, an IT and engineering recruitment firm.

“There are hiring managers that will not even consider candidates who haven't sent [a thank you note]. Make sure you get the hiring manager's email during the interview.”

By sending a thank you note, you’ll not only reiterate your interest in the company but also demonstrate your professionalism.

In addition, there are ways you can leverage your note’s content to stand out from other applicants, increasing your chances of landing the job.

To help you as you craft your note, we spoke to recruiters and hiring managers to get their take on the following questions.

We also provide an interview thank you note template you can use.

  • When should I send a thank you note after an interview?
  • Should I send an email or handwritten note?
  • What should I include in my interview thank you note?
  • How long should I wait to follow up if I don’t hear back from a recruiter?
  • Is it okay to follow up multiple times after an interview?

When should I send a thank you note after an interview?

You want to send a thank you note shortly after your interview – but not too soon!

“If you send a thank you e-mail immediately after an interview, it can actually come off as desperate and unprofessional,” says Mathew Bjorngaard, who has been interviewing candidates for finance positions at IBM for over two years.

Bjorngaard suggests waiting at least until the day after your interview, which “makes for a good reminder for the interviewer and comes off as more relaxed.”

Anjela Mangrum, Founder and President of Mangrum Career Solutions agrees.

"Some people say to do it the next day, but I think it works a little bit better to spread out your contacts over a longer period of time," she explains.

"It allows you to make a bigger impact each time."

Should I send an email or handwritten note?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both emails and handwritten notes.

Sending an email is the safer route, as “it's faster and you don't have to worry about a thank you note getting lost in the mail,” says Bradshaw.

A handwritten thank you note adds a personal touch that is simply unmatched by an email.

Mangrum says that while a handwritten note may allow you to highlight your personality, it should still remain professional.

"If you're the creative type and really enjoy the magic of putting together a nice little note with a special touch - whether that's using your own artwork, calligraphy, or handmade paper - be sure it's tasteful and still makes the professional statement you're aiming for," she recommends.

"There's no value in sending in your most recent arts and crafts project if it doesn't uphold your professional image at the end of the day."

If you go prefer to go the handwritten route, also consider writing your note in the lobby after your interview and leaving it with the receptionist to avoid the risk of it getting delayed or lost in the mailroom.

What should I include in my interview thank you note?

“Everybody shows up on time, everybody follows up, everybody sends a thank you note,” says Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal.

“You have to do something to stand out.”

Generally speaking, your thank you note should accomplish the following five goals:

  1. Say “thank you,” of course
  2. Reiterate your interest in the position
  3. Mention something you discussed / that impressed you / that your recently read about
  4. Tell them you look forward to hearing more
  5. Let them know when you’ll follow up

Clayton said the best note he received was from an applicant for a project manager position.

With her note, she “sent an article from the trade publication that tied into what we discussed during the interview. It showed me that she was engaged, knew our industry, and was thinking about ways to contribute to the team.”

You should consider leveraging a similar strategy.

If you email your note, consider including a headshot in your signature or Gmail profile picture as well.

"The visual aid of your face will be a great way to jog their memory about you and remind them of your interview," says Mangrum.

When it comes to your content, keep it concise.

Bjorngaard shared the following interview thank you note template, which you can adapt:

Dear ______,


I want to thank you for the opportunity to interview for [position] last [day of interview]. I really appreciate your time and your willingness to answer my question about [interview callback].


After our discussion, I firmly believe my experience with [qualification] would make me an asset to [company].


I'm excited to learn more about what the role entails, and I look forward to hearing back about the position.


All the best,



How long should I wait to follow up if I don’t hear back from a recruiter?

Before you start calling or emailing your contacts, be sure to wait at least one week from the date you sent a thank you note.

To prevent any hesitation or confusion as to when you should follow up, Kim Chan, a lawyer and founder of DocPro, recommends asking the interviewer when you should expect to hear back.

That way, you can simply check in if you haven’t heard anything by that date.

“It is important to be polite, sincere and indicate that you are very keen on the job,” she said.

“If the employer is deciding between two similar candidates, it would pick the one that is more interested in the opportunity.”

Chan notes that you can be bit a bit more forward if you have another offer on the table.

“If you have an offer on hand but are waiting for a job that you are more interested in, you can politely let the potential employer that kept you waiting know,” she says.

“If the employer is interested, it is likely to give you an offer immediately.”

Is it okay to follow up multiple times after an interview?

Remember that there is a fine line between appearing interested and looking desperate.

“Following up once should be sufficient,” says Bradshaw. “You don't want to seem like you are pestering the company.”

Bradshaw notes that often candidates aren’t given a firm “no” because the company hasn’t completely ruled them out or because their interview processes are dragging on (sometimes for months).

“If you have not heard back in several weeks, you should assume they have decided on a different candidate or put the position on hold until you are told otherwise,” he says.

Ben Lamarche, General Manager of Lock Search Group, says that silence typically means you are no longer in consideration.

"Usually, recruiters do not contact candidates who are not moving forward in the process," he explains.

"Sometimes, [recruiters] may make verbal commitments to follow up and let candidates know either way, and one hopes they would keep their word in those cases. However, that's not necessarily the norm in most industries."

Michael Trust, SPHR and HR consultant, shared a similar sentiment, saying that “in an ideal world, a ‘no’ would be given.”

“That’s polite. It’s uncommon. After a couple of weeks, unless a different timeline was given in the interview, assume you didn’t get it.”

In Summary

In today’s competitive hiring market, you want to make the best impression possible.

A well-written thank you note will allow you to do just that.

If you still need to polish your resume, make sure that your bullet points are achievement-oriented and tailored to your target role.

These strategies will help ensure your resume passes initial scans by applicant tracking systems, which many recruiters use to keep track of and filter applicants.

Additional Recruiter Perspectives

Read more recruiter perspectives on the following topics:

About Resume Pilots

Resume Pilots is an award-winning executive resume writing, career coaching, and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.

Here's how we can help you:

Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch. 

Resume Content Review & Resume Editing: A professional pair of eyes will look over your existing resume to catch any errors and advise on areas of improvement.

Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.

To learn more, book an introductory call here or email

We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied in the Ivy League and other top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.

About the AuthorMatt Glodz

Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Resume Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

After studying business communication at Cornell University, Matt worked within Fortune 500 companies, where he noted that qualified candidates were frequently denied interview opportunities due to poorly written documents.

At Resume Pilots, Matt combines his business and writing background - which includes prior work for a Chicago Tribune publication - to craft resumes that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He works with clients ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing resumes for over eight years.

Related Articles

Expert Advice: Should You Put GMAT Score on Your Resume?
Wondering whether you should put your GMAT score on your resume? We explain three key reasons you should list GMAT on your resume if you scored above 700. After reading, you'll have more clarity on whether it makes sense for you to include your GMAT score.
Read More
Executive-Level Resume Templates 2021: Tips & Downloads
Learn about executive resume template best practices for 2021, view sample resumes, and download our classic executive resume templates in Microsoft Word format. We also discuss resume formatting advice from executive recruiters and key resume design principles.
Read More
ATS Resume Keyword Optimization Tool
See whether your resume is optimized for applicant tracking systems using our free resume scanner. Learn exactly how to tailor your resume to a specific job posting to improve your chances of landing interviews.
Read More