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Thank You Letters and Reference Pages—Are They Necessary?

by Greg Faherty, CPRW
Most job seekers understand the importance of the resume in getting interviews. More and more are becoming aware that the cover letter is also a highly important part of the application process. But far too many people underestimate the importance of the thank you letter, and to a lesser degree, reference pages.

The Thank You Letter

Let’s look at the thank you letter first. A good thank you letter not only indicates to the interviewer that the applicant is polite, has good business sense, and is actually interested in the position, but it also serves as a reminder to the interviewer about the applicant’s skills, and helps keep the applicant’s name in the interviewer’s head. That can go a long way towards getting a second interview, if not an actual job offer.

But what is a thank you letter? Basically, it is just a short note, seven to 10 sentences in length, which thanks a person for the interview, reminds them of the applicant’s credentials, and gives an idea of how the applicant is a good fit for the company. Look at the example below:

The Reference Page

Today’s resumes no longer include references on them; some don’t even mention references available. Why? Because it’s understood that you can’t go into an interview without having at least three professional references available, unless you’re a recent graduate with little or no experience. Even then, you should have letters from professors.

The reference page is usually brought in to the interview, or sent in along with the resume.