How to write a business thank-you letter in English

When you think of thank-you letters, the first thing that springs to mind is often those notes you send thanking friends and family for gifts. Thank-you letters are also becoming a more and more common part of business, though – especially of the interview process. In an increasingly competitive job market, it’s important to make a good impression and sending a thank-you letter can help you do that. Writing a thank-you letter in English might seem like a difficult thing but it’s not if you you follow these simple steps.

Keep it short. Chances are your interviewer is a busy person and hasn’t got time to read an essay from you, so keep your letter short or polite. If you are sending something in the post, it’s a good idea to use a card instead of a letter. Limited space will force you to be succinct. If you are sending an email, limit yourself to a few lines to make sure it gets read.

Thank the interviewer for their time. A simple ‘Thanks for sparing the time to interview me last week’, is normally enough here. Don’t go overboard with the thanks, though – keep it sincere and genuine.

Mention one specific thing from the interview. To show that you paid attention and personalise the letter, mention one thing you found interesting in the interview or one piece of helpful advice the interviewer gave you.

Mention one action you have taken to follow up from the interview. Now you’ve shown that you paid attention, show that you are a proactive person and can act on advice. If the interviewer mentioned any interesting topics, articles, or papers in the interview, do some background reading on the topic and  mention it. Don’t start a debate, though – instead mention something that supports what was said in the interview. For example ‘It was really interesting that you mentioned language learning in a knowledge economy. I read another article on it in the business news today’.

Express hope but don’t make assumptions. Finish your letter with another quick thank-you and mention that you are still keen on the job. Don’t be too pushy, though. Something simple like ‘Anyway, thanks again for your time and I hope to hear from you once you’ve made your decision on the position.’ is enough.

You don’t need to limit thank-you letters to interviews, either. It’s a great way to follow up with new contacts or leads you meet while you are networking. Use the simple structure above, customise it to the situation and you can enjoy the extra benefits of making a good impression by sending a thank-you letter in English.


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