Why Saying Thank You Is Important

It seems to be somewhat of a lost art, but saying thank you is important. Whether you’ve had a formal interview, an informational interview or just received some help on your career journey, acknowledging those who have spent their time and energy helping is important.

When should you say thank you?

Thank yous should happen after you’ve gotten some type of assistance or opportunity. This can include someone who spent time to mentor you, provide you with an informational interview, formal interview or provided a reference.

How and when should I say thank you?

Follow up within 24 hours after an interview of any kind. Most people today send emails, and this is perfectly fine. However, a handwritten note goes a long way and makes you stand apart from other candidates. Make sure to get your notes written and in the mail the day after your interview so there isn’t a large time lag between when you met and they receive your note.

For other situations, such as working with a mentor or references, follow up as soon as possible with an email or handwritten note. While people like to help, their time is important so taking a few moments to acknowledge that and show your appreciation can help them stay in your corner when it’s time to ask them for help again down the road.

What should my note say?

Composing a thank you note can feel awkward at times. Whether you’re sending an email or penning a card, here’s a formula you can customize to help make your thank you notes great.

Dear (insert name)

  1. Thank you for (taking the time to interview/help/mentor/etc.)
  2. State what you got out of the interaction and what meant the most to you (something specific about the interview, help, advice, tips, suggestions, etc.) and how you plan to use it.
  3. State why you are thankful for the opportunity, person, time, interview, etc.
  4. Close the note with a final thanks.

Sincerely (your name)


Chelsea Stanhope
Career Counselor