Nearly every career book and interview expert will tell you to send a thank you note after a job interview. Yet many job candidates skip this important step and unknowingly diminish their chances of getting the job. Employers want to know that you have social skills and will treat their important clients and customers well. Sending a thank you note is a clear signal that you understand the “rules of the game” and that you are serious enough about the interview to take the time to write a follow-up thank you note.
Who should I send thank you notes to? You should send separate personalized thank you notes to each person who interviewed you, either in a group setting or in one-on-ones. Hopefully, they gave you cards during the interview with their contact info. If not, consult the company’s website and call the receptionist to verify (staff lists on corporate websites are notoriously out of date). Make sure to get names and titles correct. You don’t want to make mistakes in your thank you note that raise flags that you weren’t paying attention or that you don’t care enough to get the details correct. If you have several rounds of interviews, send thank you notes after each round. You never know which round may be the last — they may just decide they want you and forgo the rest of the process they had intended.
Should I send an email or a handwritten note? We suggest both. While an email is immediate and will no doubt be read, a handwritten note is much more personal and shows that you went the extra step. We know of situations where the handwritten letter didn’t arrive until after the hiring decision was made. By sending both the email and the handwritten letter, your email reiterates your interest in the position immediately after the interview, and your handwritten note that arrives within a few days and both reinforces what you said in the interview and provides a second chance to remind the hiring personnel that you are a serious candidate.
Writing a thank you note for a job interview:
First paragraph (1-2 sentences): Actually say thank you for the job interview. Be as specific as possible about the day and time of your interview to make sure they know who the letter is from.
Second paragraph (2-3 sentences): Reiterate your interest and enthusiasm for the position. (Some people leave interviews and decide the job is not right for them. Make sure they know that’s not the case with you!). If there was anything they stressed in the interview that they are looking for in the new hire, explain again how you fit the bill. If there was anything in your skill set or background that they were hesitant about, here’s your chance to address it and assure them that you’re still the person for the job. If there is anything you forgot to tell them that would help your case, this is where you do it.
Last paragraph (1-2 sentences): Thank them again for the opportunity and tell them that you look forward to hearing from them about their decision. Though the information is on your resume, remind them of how they can contact you if they have any further questions (email and/or phone number).
Things to keep in mind:
* Don’t delay. Thank you notes for interviews should be sent within 24 hours of the meeting.
* Make sure your handwriting is legible. Experts say there seems to be no preference among employers for handwritten vs. typed letters, so if your handwriting is illegible, type it.
* Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Don’t blow your chance by making a silly mistake at this late stage of the game.
* If possible, take the letter to the post office in person, rather than letting it sit in a box for a day. Some experts will tell you it’s okay to hand deliver a thank you note. You need to judge for yourself if the hiring agent will appreciate this extra step — or think it’s creepy. We would advise doing this if you know you will only see the receptionist and not actually run into the recipients of your letters. Even more awkward, you may run into other candidates for the position and that’s just going to stress you out. Best to stick with the original plan to send an email for immediacy and put the handwritten letter in the mail for follow-up.
Amy Adele cards appropriate for interview thank you notes: