A few years ago, I received the best thank-you letter after conduting an interview ever.
I’ve shared it below to provide a template for executive job seekers:
The Best Thank-You Letter After an Interview
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me regarding the CFO position at [Company]. It sounds like a fantastic opportunity both in terms of the organization and the job. I have a lot to offer [Company] as their CFO, and in other areas, as needed.
Most importantly, my broad experience in nonprofit management helps me understand my C-level colleagues’ needs.
I see the nonprofit CFO role as one that requires a service orientation; being helpful when I can, and also knowing when to step back. While I’m not shy about sharing my ideas and thoughts, I do so in a diplomatic manner.
Beyond that, often in my career, I have been asked by CEOs and Boards to add challenging projects to my portfolio while managing my regular responsibilities.
A good example is when I was invited by the [Previous Company] Board to be a voting member of the Search Committee for a new CEO. I had gained the respect of a Board of prominent individuals in politics, business, and technology and they wanted my insights.
Finally, as a CPA, I keep up with the educational requirements necessary to maintain my license. I’m an expert in nonprofit financial management matters and have detailed knowledge of nonprofit law and state regulations.
As evidenced by my work with [Previous Company], I believe in [Company’s] mission. I have spent my career in nonprofits and feel my belief system and skills make me an ideal candidate for this position.
Donna, I would relish the opportunity to have further discussions with you where we drill down into the position’s specifics.
Thank you once again for your time and for considering me for this position.
Thank You Letter Analysis
Notice these elements of his letter:
P1: The candidate thanked me and then, indirectly, told me what he was going to tell me.
P2 & 3: On-point industry experience and service orientation, both of which were critically important to my client.
P4 & 5: Evidence of the respect stakeholders have had for him.
P6: Subject matter expertise and the ability to bring multiple perspectives to the position.
P7: Culture fit.
P8: The second use of my name, plus reiteration of interest in the job and a final thank-you.
The letter also provided information on a couple of points we had not covered in our interview and elaborated a bit on items we had discussed.
The thank-you letter came via email the same day we had our interview.
I liked it so much I called to tell him it was the best interview thank-you letter I had ever received.
Why Did I Like His Thank-You Letter?
- I felt genuinely thanked.
- The letter provided useful, new information.
- It made me believe he could both do the job and be a wonderful colleague.
- He personalized the letter with the second use of my name.
Because of those 4 reasons, I asked him if I could share a redacted copy of his letter here to help job seekers with one of the toughest writing challenges ever.
The Power of Thanking
Lest you doubt the impact of a sincere interview thanks, watch Dr. Laura Trice in this TED Talk on the power of saying thank-you :
I predict you will be upping the level of your interview thank-you letter game!
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Updated March 2022
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Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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