Thank you note

 

 Those two little words…

They’re so simple yet so powerful.  Thank you.  You’ve known those two words since you were a child, yet to you remember to use them after an interview?  Yes, you probably say, “Thank you for your time” or something like that as you’re exiting the interview, but do you then follow up with a thank-you note?  Again, it’s so simple, yet so powerful.  Regardless of whether you interviewed with a hiring manager, a headhunter, a recruiter or an HR associate- there is one thing you can be sure of; they are all expecting a thank-you note.  Not only is is polite and a common courtesy, but it demonstrates your professionalism, and your knowledge of business etiquette.  You are showing them that you know the rules of the game. 

There are widely varying opinions regarding the appropriate format; some hiring managers expect or prefer a note via e-mail.  Some prefer and expect a thank-you via e-mail, and some consider that poor form.  The traditional method is to write a short, handwritten note on good quality, plain note paper (Crane is my favorite brand for professional notes such as these).  A handwritten note is the one method that is always well received.

Here’s how to make the best showing with your thank-you note.

  • Act now!!  Hiring managers expect that you will write your thank-you note and mail it the same day you met with them. If you don’t’ mail it until a few days after your interview, you are sending the message that you are not that interested, and that your business etiquette is poor.
  • Keep it short and simple- Thank the interviewer for their time, and say that you enjoyed your time together and learned a lot.  Then reiterate your interest in the position and name one or two qualifications that make you the best candidate.  Tell them you will look forward to speaking with them again soon, and close your note with either, “Most sincerely” or, “Best regards”.  That’s it. You don’t have to write a novel, you simply have to show that effort has been made.
  • Key point- If there was something of interest that you discussed at the interview, or some special training or certification you have, make mention of these things briefly in the note after you’ve reiterated your interest in the position.  It is another way of making yourself stand out from all the other candidates.
  • Proofread! If you know you tend to misspell words, type out what you want to say in Word first, spell check it, grammar check it, then write it down exactly as you typed it.  You don’t want typos or bad grammar to be their lasting impression of you.