When it comes to the job interviewing process, don’t forget to say “Thank you.” After an in-person interview for a job, clinicians should always write a thank you letter.

“You should do it right away,” said Mike Erwin, Senior Career Advisor for CareerBuilder.com. “The longer you wait, the more you’re going to forget about it.”

Writing a thank you letter begins at the interview. Make sure that you collect business cards from everyone that you speak with during the interview process. Each interviewer should receive a personalized thank you letter, and the business cards will help keep you organized.

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Karen Bryer, director of human resources for Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, said thank you letters should be sent within 24 hours. That’s where e-mail comes in to play, as it is certainly the fastest way to communicate.

“It’s most accessible, it’s easy, it’s quick,” says Sharon Juillet, manager of nursing recruitment for Detroit Medical Center in Michigan.

Although the thank you letter or e-mail can be as brief as a couple of sentences thanking the interviewer for his or her time and for the meeting, it should be formal and there are a few things a good thank-you note includes:

  • Begin formally with the date, and open with the greeting “Dear (interviewer’s name):”
  • The first sentence should thank the interviewer for his or her time, but should be followed up by reiterating specific information from the interview.
  • Briefly stress in one to two sentences why you think you are the right person for the job. Example: “After our interview, I feel that my skills as a physician assistant and passion for working with children are a good match for [company’s name].”
  • More detail can be provided, as long as it is kept brief. It may also include repeating something that was stated in the interview that the interviewer might remember and associate with your name.
  • It’s okay to add something personal. Maybe highlight something that excited you about the job. For example if the position uses a team approach, a statement may be: “I am very interested and excited by the possibility of working in a team atmosphere that includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and pharmacists rounding to patients as a team.”
  • Close with your anticipation of receiving follow-up or feedback from the interview. Example: “I look forward to hearing from you regarding this position,” and follow up with a final “Thank you.”

The salutation should be formal: “Sincerely,” followed by the job seeker’s first and last name.

Finally, make sure spelling and grammar is correct in the thank-you letter or e-mail, and that the interviewer’s name is spelled correctly.

Stacy M. Kess, is a registered nurse and freelance health and news writer based in Columbus, Ohio.