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Never Forget The Thank You Note: How, When, and Why to Send One

Sending out a thank you note after an interview is common courtesy—a simple gesture that tells the interviewer that you are grateful for the meeting, and value their time. According to recent studies, however, only 20% of interviewers actually do it. So get to the store (Target has a nice selection of note cards) and pick up your new signature card. Sending a note after your next interview will make you stand out from the competition and, in doing so, increase your odds of landing the job.

Thank You Note Etiquette

Thank you notes should be written and sent off immediately after the interview. Here is what to include in the note:

  • Say thank you for the interview.
  • Recap some of the interview (to prove that you were listening).
  • Clarify information that needs to be corrected, or that you promised to follow up on.
  • Gently reiterate your skills and why you’re a perfect fit for the company.

What the note Should Not Be:

  • Offensive—to anyone.
  • Generic—write a separate letter for each of your interviewers, and say something specific enough to be truly thoughtful.

Digital or Snail Mail?

The decision on which way to go must be made on a case-by-case basis, with the priorities of your potential employer in mind. Emailing a thank you note is obviously faster; it reaches the recipient instantly. This will put your name at the top of the interviewer’s inbox, which is a plus. It only takes a few minutes, but shows that you have professionalism and good manners.

Mailing a thank you is a step above an email. Writing by hand brings a personal touch no amount of typing can create, and is a thoughtful gesture.  To mail a card, you have to buy the paper, compose a note, affix a stamp, fill out an envelope, and find a mailbox—that level of thought comes across well in a world where more and more, people seek out shortcuts. If you want to emphasize thoughtfulness, and follow-through, go with the hand-written note.

Second Interview Thank You

Congrats, you got a second meeting! After the second interview, you can feel free to send another thank you. Each thank you note should be different, and focus on the current interview, not on the previous one.

A thank you letter is a great way to push your experience and expertise to the forefront. Job seekers in the contemporary marketplace need to consider all angles, and a thank you is a simple, and nice, way to distinguish yourself from the competition.