Being grateful during your job search is crucial to landing your dream job

Imagine a hiring manager who has to choose between two equally qualified candidates for a position he has open. It's a tough decision, because both job seekers have the skills, qualifications, and career achievements the hiring manager was hoping to see. But then he gets a thank you note from one of them. Inevitably, the candidate who took those few extra minutes to thank the hiring manager for their time will be the one who wins the day. 

It's such a simple thing to do! You wouldn't think thanking someone for their time would be the thing that wins a job - however, it's the extra attention to detail and overall politeness that could be just the thing that impresses the hiring manager and tips the scale in your favor. 

In this article, you'll learn how to thank someone for their time in the proper manner, avoiding cliches and leveraging that thank you to reiterate your skills and achievements to remind the company why you're the right person for the job. 

When is the right time to say “Thank you?”

The scenario at the beginning of this article indicates that a job seeker thanked a hiring manager for their time after an interview in order to secure a job. But that's not the only time to thank someone. You can express gratitude to people in your personal life, to maintain strong relationships. For example, when someone gives you a gift, cooks you a meal, helps you out in difficult times, or does a favor for you. 

Saying “thank you” is a great way to facilitate reciprocity and leave a lasting positive impression. Nowhere is leaving a good impression as important as when you're searching for a job. The opportunities to thank someone for their time during your job search are abundant and include everything from job interviews to networking and more. 

Gratitude during your job search

While it is polite to send a thank you anytime someone does something for you, expressing gratitude during your job search goes beyond superficial nicety – it's strategy. A well-crafted thank you note sets you apart from your fellow job seekers, showcases your professionalism, and tells prospective employers that you're serious about the opportunity. On top of all of that, saying “thank you” also gives you the chance to reiterate your interest in the position and puts your name back in front of the hiring manager. 

How to thank someone for their time

You've already made a great impression with a stellar resume; reinforce that positive impression with a thank you note to nurture the relationship that you started to build during your interview. There are countless phrases and keywords you can use to let the reader of your note know you truly appreciated their time. 

Let's explore some examples of ways to say “thank you for your time”:

  • Just say, “Thank you.” If you're attending a networking event or closing out your interview, you can use your words. It's a standard, is universally accepted, and is always appreciated. 

  • “Thanks for your time and consideration.” There are a few schools of thought on this one. Some people think that it's taboo and overused, while others feel that you can't go wrong with an expression that's tried and true. The idea is that you're not only thanking someone for the time they spent doing something for you, but also for taking the extra steps to carefully consider the choices. 

  • “I appreciate your time.” If you want to go a little more formal, you can substitute “thank you” with “appreciate.” Using this phrase can elevate your expression of gratitude to a new level. 

  • “I'm grateful for the opportunity.” If you want to elevate your thank you even more, use the word “grateful.” When you use “grateful,” you're opening doors to talk about why you want to thank someone. 

  • “I'm glad we had the opportunity to [fill in the blank].” Networking and building relationships are important steps to take on your career journey. Not only can you learn a lot from your network, but a staggering percentage of jobs are acquired based on who you know. Ensuring that the people in your circle are aware of your gratitude can be the difference between having a strong network of peers and a simple group of professional acquaintances. 

Sending a “thank you for your time” email after a job interview

You've heard time and time again that you should always send a thank you note to the hiring manager after you finish your interview. In fact, as you can tell from the beginning of this article, it can make or break your job success. Always, without fail, send a message of gratitude to a hiring manager. You should, ideally, have a template “thank you” note ready to go, so that when you get out of the interview you can fill in a few blanks about what you discussed during the interview and send it on. 

Be sure to personalize the thank you note. Use the hiring manager's name and bring up some key points that you talked about during the meeting. Let them know that the time they took out of their day was truly appreciated and that you feel it was time well spent, because you're more interested in the position after speaking to the interviewer than you were when you walked through the door. 

Remind them why you're the right person for the job by emphasizing a few skills that fit within the context of whatever topic you're bringing up in your thank you note. While it might be tempting to use informal language, keep it professional – even if you and the hiring manager threw around a few jokes during the interview. 

Before you send it, though, double-check it. For the love of everything wonderful in this world, don't send a thank you note to a hiring manager with typos and grammatical errors in it. You want to keep showing them that you pay attention to details, even in something as simple as a thank you note. 

Thanking someone who referred you to a job

Again, along the lines of getting jobs based on who you know, you could potentially find out about a new opportunity from someone in your network. That person might go so far as to refer you to a role. Often, they'll get some stipend or bonus from their company for referring a new employee, but it's important to thank them for the news of the open position just the same. Let's face it: without them, you probably wouldn't have even known the job was open at all. 

Not only are they referring you to a new job, but they're placing trust in you that you'll do a good job. The first thing that will happen if you mess something up after getting hired is that the boss will look to the referrer and ask why they referred you in the first place. You don't want to put them in that position. 

So, when you write your thank you note, be sure to let them know that they have been a big help in giving you an opportunity to propel your career forward and that you appreciate the trust they've placed in you to do a good job. Be authentic and sincere, too. You don't want them to regret referring you to a position, because that may make them stop making referrals in the future. Keep those referral doors open for everyone by showing that you genuinely appreciate their help.

Frequently asked questions

With so many ways and reasons for saying “thank you,” it's easy to see how there would be a lot of questions surrounding this topic. As far as etiquette goes, thanking someone for something ranks right up there with chewing with your mouth closed. At the end of the day, it's just the right thing to do. Let's answer some of those FAQs to close the door on any misinformation or curiosities you may have about the details.

  1. How do you thank someone for their time after a meeting? It doesn't matter whether you've just completed a job interview or a boardroom meeting to discuss the next steps in a business proposal; people took time out of their day to sit down with you. You should take a moment to thank them for that. During the “thank you” part of your speech, take a few seconds to summarize the key points of the meeting, reiterate your interest, and bring up the next steps. 

  2. Is it polite to say “thanks” or “thank you?” They are both considered polite. “Thank you” is more formal than “thanks.” In fact, in some circles, a simple “thanks” can be looked down upon as curt and too casual. If you're in a situation and too casual would be a problem, you should opt for using “thank you” instead of “thanks.” 

  3. Is it okay to say, “Thank you for your time and consideration”? Honestly, it's a bit boring to say, “Thank you for your time and consideration.” Hiring managers see this phrase on every cover letter that comes across their desk. It's a catch-all phrase that people throw at the end of their letter without much thought as to why it's actually there. Try to remember to use something more appealing, like, “I understand your time is precious and appreciate the time you're taking out of your busy day to review my application. It means the world to me.”

More than mere formality

Your personal and professional lives will explode with success when you express gratitude for the things people do to help you. Giving thanks can be the edge you need to squeeze out job seeker competition and is a reflection of who you are as a person. It goes beyond the words you put on paper; it's the sentiment behind saying “thank you for your time today” or some other iteration of the phrase “thank you” that really counts. People can tell when you are being sincere or just going through the motions. So, make gratitude a cornerstone of your life.

TopResume is dedicated to your success and can help you to polish your resume to land the interview - and even provide you with a thank you template for after the interview! We'd love to walk with you through every step of your career journey. See what we have to offer that can help you out.

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