How Crafting The Perfect “Thank You” Letter To a Recruiter Can Make or Break Your Job Search
Fear has begun to creep in.
The job interview went great, the recruiter loved you and deep down you know you’re right for the job. But a week has gone by and…it’s radio silence. In this situation, it might be tempting to call the hiring manager over the phone to check on your application, and/or show up in person at the company’s physical location to follow up on the position.
Not so fast… Hit the brakes!
There is something far stronger, and simpler, that you can do: write them a strong thank-you note, simply letting the hiring manager know you appreciate them taking the time to interview you.
But, you may ask, how do I thank a recruiter for their time?
Well, while it’s true that some people have stopped writing thank-you letters to recruiters (sometimes seeing them as time consuming and unnecessary), the very fact that those folks are omitting their letters should make it that much more of a reason for you to write one.
Most recruiters and hiring managers still expect a thank you note, but only 57% of candidates actually send them. And yet, there’s a catch: how you write the letter and what you say is where the real gold in this job hunting tip lies.
The Importance of Writing a Recruiter Thank You Note
As a career coach, I often advise my clients to follow up with a thank you email within the first 24 hours of the interview, and then, if they feel truly connected to the role and company, to send a handwritten mailed letter as well.
According to research, job seekers could be majorly cutting themselves short when they don’t follow up with a thank-you note after their interview. A survey found that 68% of hiring managers and recruiters say the absence of a thank you note negatively affected their decision making process.
Moreover, if you were interviewed by a team or went through a panel of contacts, be sure to thank each of them individually and uniquely. Make your thank-you notes personal based on the conversation/interactions you had — it’s key to demonstrate that you were paying attention during the interview.
Different Kinds of Recruiter Thank You Notes or Letters
Depending on the type of job that you are trying to get, the kind of thank-you letter you’ll need to write will vary. According to Indeed, it should always include:
1) a subject line
2) a personalized greeting
3) a note of appreciation
4) a qualifications recap
5) a short prompt to move on to the next step in the hiring process
6) your direct contact info
Those six elements should be in any type of thank-you note that you write to a recruiter. But, it is the style of the letter that changes to cater to the type of position you’re looking to attain. The four basic styles are Short, Detailed, Informal, and Formal.
Sample Recruiter Thank You Notes
1. Short Thank-You Notes. This is the most brief, uncomplicated, and forthright style.
Who they’re for: Short thank-you notes will work with almost any type of position that you are aiming for… They’re particularly ideal for people who know it’s important to get a brief thank you in, because the decision-making process is moving quickly. It would likely be more suitable to send over via email than in handwritten form.
Be sure to include the 6 elements and send within 24 hours of having met for the interview. The goal with this note is to be swift and proficient in your communication, especially if the company is looking to hire quickly.
Email Subject Line: Thank you for the interview.
I wanted to say again how much I appreciate you setting time aside for our meeting last week. Our conversation about the responsibilities for the Food & Beverage Manager role was insightful, and it solidified my excitement about the possibility of running the department.
With the recent growth in the department, I sensed that you are looking to hire someone who is ready to adapt quickly and create even more collaboration in the culinary team. My degree in Culinary Arts, coupled with my 15 years of experience, gives me confidence that I could [insert the result they really want here].
I look forward to talking to reconnecting! Feel free to call or email me for additional references, or any other information you may need for your decision.
2. Detailed Thank-You Letters
These are a step-up from the previous short note, in that they contain a little more information about what was actually discussed in the interview.
Who they’re for: Detailed thank-you notes work great for jobs that require you to be more conversational and information-focused within the actual role, such as in customer service or marketing. If the interview process is still ongoing, this style of note serves as a way to stay connected and follow up on any loose ends in the conversation or the interview process overall.
This thank-you note (and any one, really) is also an opportunity for recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate your written communication style. With the average person sending 40 business emails per day, you can bet your manager wants to see how well you communicate online.
This can be sent over email or in written letter form, depending on which one you think will catch the recruiter’s attention the most.
Email Subject Line: Thank you for the interview
I wanted to reach out and express my appreciation for you setting time aside to meet earlier this week. Our conversation about the Food & Beverage Manager position further solidified my excitement about the possibility of filling this role! Your feedback on how the department is run has brought a few ideas to mind on strategies to resolve [insert any issues discussed during the interview]… I am excited about the possibility of sharing these with you in the near future.
Pulling from my 15 years of experience and educational background, I am confident I could [insert the results they want]. The unique layout of your resort is an exciting change that I feel confident I could adjust to quickly.
Feel free to call or email me later so we can connect further…. I look forward to hearing from you.
3. Informal Thank-You Notes
Who they’re for: These are better used for jobs that don’t entail a great deal of online communication, or if they do, the communication style is more casual in nature. Leverage this template when you need to send a follow up, but neither party has expressed a need to carry on a long conversation online.
Let’s be honest… No one wants to sit down and sift through a novel of an email, especially when they are usually out on the floor or engaging in real time with customers or clients.
Research shows people do not have the time, nor interest, in reading through long winded emails. Take a hack from email marketers, and be sure to keep it to less than 125 words for optimal engagement.
Email Subject Line: Thanks for the meeting!
Thank you for meeting this morning. I am grateful for your clear explanation of the Food & Beverage Manager position, which seems exciting given my 15 years of experience and Culinary degree! Based on what you shared, I am confident I could help you [insert goal they have].
Feel free to call or email me later so we can connect further. Again, thanks for your consideration.
4. Formal Thank-You Letters
Who they’re for: If the company is slowly looking to hire, or if the interview was more of a networking connection to prescreen you for a position that hasn’t opened up yet, this format offers more brevity on the content you can cover and pace in which it is received. While this isn’t landing directly in their inbox, snail mail is quicker than you think. You can hand deliver the note to the office front desk or you can mail it overnight.
If casual talk is not generally the way business communication is handled in the job you are trying to get, then chances are your everyday meetings with associates will be more proper, such as with a meeting of company CEO’s in dressed attire.
This is the type of job where a formal thank-you letter would be better to write to the recruiting manager. And, although email works fine, a formal letter will come across well if written in good handwriting, and likely score you major points with the hiring managers.
Use this as an opportunity to share a solution to a problem you discussed, lean into being a supporter right off the bat and show that you walked away from the interview searching for ways to get to work and help the business. Don’t ever forget, the interview doesn’t end when you walk out the door.
Dear Ms. Ashley Stahl,
Thank you so much for the time you took to discuss the Food & Beverage position with me today… Your insight on the position, and the fact you once occupied the role, solidified my excitement to learn from you and contribute to the growth of the brand.
I appreciated the overall vision that you have for the departmental teams to [insert results they’re seeking], and after doing some research, I discovered a few strategies to reach these goals, including:
- [insert one approach]
- [insert another approach with data or solutions]
This is just a start, and I would love to explore these concepts further with you in the near future.
Given my 15 years of experience in a very similar role, I see multiple crossovers in this position that I am confident will help build the team and reach your goal to [insert their goal].
Your consideration for this wonderful position is much appreciated. Feel free to call or email me as needed.
When it comes to landing your dream job, it’s worth going the extra mile and sending a well thought out and constructed thank you note. The reality is, the job market is filled with talented people fighting for the same roles. It’s up to you to be the one that stands out.