How to Write an Irresistible International Thank You Letter

Posted on Aug 24, 2015 | 0 comments

How to Write an Irresistible International Thank You Letter

Thank you letters after an interview are an excellent way to make sure potential employers remember you. So many people don’t send thank you notes, so if you do, you will definitely stand out from the other candidates. You may know how to write a thank you note in your home country but may doubt your skills in your adopted country. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out these five strategies to write an irresistible thank you letter no matter where you live:


1. Make sure “thank you” is the right thing to say.

North American and European cultures tend to say thank you, but there are other cultures where saying thank you is not as expected or necessary. Talk to a friend who knows the culture well or read up on communication guides for that country in Passport Career’s Country Portfolios. This is the best way to find out whether thank you is the right thing to say. If it’s not the right thing to say, it’s still a good idea to send a follow up letter letting the potential employer know how nice it was to meet them and provide information on how they can further contact you.


2. Observe whether it should be handwritten or emailed.

In some places a handwritten note is highly valued and in others, email is just fine. If you are sending a thank you note from halfway around the world, you’ll probably have to opt for email no matter what. But if you’re close enough, you’ll want to make the decision between handwritten and email. The easiest way to do this is to look at what other people are doing. Do you see a lot of mail delivered? Do people have personalized stationary? Is it a very formal culture? And, of course you can always ask a local friend to guide you in the right direction.


3. Get the greeting right.

Dear Mr. Smith? Dear Joe? Dear Sir? Dang. Which one is it? Some countries are a lot more formal than others and addressing people by their first names is not okay. Others prefer to be addressed by their first names. Take note of how you were introduced to the person. If you’re still lost, call the person Mr. Smith when you speak to them. If he quickly corrects you and says, “Call me Joe, please”, you’re golden. You’ll now know exactly what to do in your letter.


4. Have it proofread by a native speaker.

If you’re writing your thank you note in your non-native tongue, have a native speaker review it. No, that does not mean Google Translate. It means a real person. Grammar and spelling mistakes reflect badly on you even if it’s not your native language.


5. Don’t say too much.

A thank you note is short and sweet. The less you say, the safer you are. A greeting plus about three sentences of text should be just fine.



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.


Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant

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