We get a lot of questions about thank you notes, and occasionally I even hear people ask whether or not to send one. I also hear anecdotes such as, “I really remember that student, candidate, employee, intern, etc… because they sent me a thank you note,” or “I was really disappointed when I did not receive a follow up from [the person with whom I met] after our meeting.”
Six words: Always. Write. The. Thank. You. Note. It’s hugely important, and it’s unlikely to ever be inappropriate. I get it though, it can be intimidating. In that spirit, let’s review some quick rules for the art of writing the thank you note:
1. Start by expressing thanks in a simple and graceful way. This does not need very detailed, nor does it need to take more than 1-2 sentences.
2. Offer a more detailed expression of your gratitude. For example, “It was very helpful to learn about your career path and experience in graduate school, especially the research you did for your thesis.”
3. Refer to a future event at which you might see the person. (This is not always appropriate, especially for a post-interview note). “It was great to see you at Ready, Set, Connect, and I look forward to seeing you at the Winter Break Tour event in Chicago.”
4. Repeat your statement of gratitude. “Thanks again for taking the time to meet with me yesterday afternoon” is a succinct way to end the note.
5. Valediction. Many people get stuck here, which makes sense when there are so many options. In a professional thank you note, keep it professional. Here are some great choices: Sincerely, Respectfully, Warm Regards, Best Regards. Here is a not so great choice: Peace.
6. Send it promptly, ideally within 24 hours of the meeting.
I hope this is helpful! You can also find a template on the Hoya Gateway website here.