Use these tips and sample notes to stand out in your job search and maintain your network. Thank you notes can make or break your job search process, but you’ll stand out if you treat them as more than just a formality.
Read these tips and scroll to the bottom for thank-you note examples. Why send thank you notes?
A thank you note is not just about politeness: it’s a way to invest in your professional relationships.
The best follow up notes go beyond the basic “thank you.” They have context, personal details, and authentic gratitude.
A simple email is enough. But, if you want to make an impression, take the time to send a handwritten note as well.
When to write a thank you note Be sure to write a thank you note in these cases:
Within 24 hours of an interview. If you have multiple interviewers, send each of them a separate note.
If you’re working with a recruiter, you can ask them for your interviewers’ contact information. 1-2 days after a networking conversation (whether at a career fair, or in a one-on-one informational interview).
Within a week of someone being a reference for you, whether or not you got hired. When you land a job or internship, and want to thank someone who helped you along the way, whether it was weeks or months ago.
Using thank you notes to maintain career-building relationships
You thanked your connection for doing an informational interview, but what happened next? Often, the people who help you along the way never get to hear how you applied their advice.
A great way to keep in touch is to thank them when you land a job or internship. This is a chance to say, “This is how your actions made an impact on me.”
You can thank anyone who has ever helped you in the job search: a professor, a mentor, an alum you did an info chat with, a work-study boss, even a friend or family member. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed!
“You do not want to just ‘ask for something’ from an employer or alumni. You want to show an appreciation for an employer and alumni’s time and start building a genuine connection with them.
Follow up with them after an initial thank you note to update them on your progress in your job or internship search.
By staying connected to a contact, they may think of you for future opportunities and you will be able to stand out from other applicants.”Patrick Zajac, Hart Career Center, Illinois Wesleyan University.
Thank you note examples
A thank you note doesn’t have to be long—just genuine.
Here are some thank you note examples to inspire you.
After an interview:
Dear Mr. Smith,
I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to me about the social media marketer role at Wayne Enterprises. I was excited to hear that you’re planning on adding TikTok to your social channels, as that is one of the projects I worked on during my internship at Acme Corporation. I’ve been thinking about content ideas since our call, and I hope I will get to share them with you. I am happy to provide any additional information or work samples, and I look forward to hearing from you about next steps in the process.
After someone is a reference for you:
Dear Professor Lee,
I know that you recently spoke to the hiring manager at Sterling Cooper. I am so excited to let you know that I got the assistant art director job! It was thanks to your typography courses that I became interested in this career pathway. Thank you for not only inspiring me, but helping me get this role. I can’t wait to get started, and I’ll be sure to send you an update about how it’s going.
After a networking conversation :
I know how busy you are, so it meant a lot that you took the time to tell me about working at Stark Industries. It was great to talk to someone else with an engineering major, and to hear how your career path evolved after graduation. Thank you for telling me about the Stark Industries internship program – I’ll be sure to apply. I will let you know what happens!