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The Thank You Note, dissected

Why write a thank you letter?

If someone takes time or effort (in an employment, internship, or residency/fellowship interview), or shares advice or resources (in an informational interview), it is considered professionally polite to acknowledge it. 

Who should get a thank you letter?

Anybody that you interviewed with, including employer/residency director/ a person you had an informational interview with.

What's the format of a thank you letter?

Thank you notes are about 4-8 sentences long. You can use this format to write your note:

  1. Say thank you

  2. Tell them why you are thanking them or give them your overall impression of the meeting

  3. (unique to each person) Give one line about something  you specifically appreciated from your time with them 

  4. Closing line

Example email:

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Should I send a note to everyone I met?

Yes. If they took the time to meet you, it is professionally appropriate to thank them for it. 

Who should I send my note by email or via the post office?

If you know that the employer/RPD is making a decision in the next few days, send an email. But if it's going to be a few weeks, a handwritten note is also fine.

If you are not sure, you can ask. For example at the end of the interview, you could ask the administrative assistant for the correct spelling and contact information for everyone you met because you would like to send a thank you note. You can also ask their opinion "I'd like to send thank you notes to Dr. Rogan or Ravnan. Do you recommend email or paper  correspondence?"