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Thank You Notes

Do I need to write a thank you note to an employer after an interview? 

Most often, the best crafted note will not get you a job you didn’t already have on the strength of your interview, but a thank you note with errors can cost you an offer you may have had in the bag. Thank you notes are not necessary in all situations. With that being said, thank you notes can add to your overall package. They can refresh the interviewer’s recollection of your meeting, refine a connection you made with him or her, and be an example of your clear, concise, and interesting writing style.

Sample Thank You Notes

Situations you should not follow up with a thank you note:

  • OCI screener interviews.
    • We have been advised by many attorneys and recruiting coordinators that 20 minute interviews during the fall recruiting season, held through an OCI type program, do not require a thank you note.

Situations you may want to follow up with a thank you note:

  • Callback interviews.
  • 1L interviews.
    • These notes can be quite short, simply stating your appreciation for their time and your continued interest in the organization. 
  • Interviews with smaller employers and public sector employers.
    • These interviewers, whether or not they are participating in formal recruiting programs, seem to value the personal effort that a thank you note takes.
  • Informational interviews.
    • Especially where you really feel you’ve made a connection with an attorney, you can use a thank you note as an opportunity to develop a continuing relationship with the attorney.
    • You could, for example, write or telephone and see if the person would like to meet for further conversation over coffee or lunch.
  • Personal contact.
    • When a personal contact has extended himself or herself to set up an interview for you, you should send a thank you note to that person.

**Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to write a thank you note is yours.**

Suggestions for Writing a Thank You Note:

  • Be prompt.
    • Because hiring decisions are often made quickly, if you intend for your note to have some influence on the decision, you need to email or mail a thank you promptly after the interview (the day of or day after the interview).
  • It must be perfect.
    • No misspellings (particularly of the attorney’s or employer’s name), no grammatical or spelling errors, no merge mistakes. Check, double check, and triple check. Mistakes here can cost you a job offer.
  • If at all possible, personalize the note.
    • You can mention something you discussed during your interview (e.g. “I enjoyed hearing about your undergraduate experience at Cornell…”).
  • Be professional.
    • Address the recipient formally – “Dear Mr. or Ms.” (don’t use a first name unless the recipient has requested you do so).
    • Use an appropriate tone.
      • Remove any quotes from your signature block.
    • Email using your Penn Law email account.

**If you have visited an employer and spoken with more than one interviewer, you do not need to write them all. Rather, address your letter to one of the attorneys you visited or to the recruiting coordinator, and ask that person to express your thanks to the others you met.**