Thank you notes may seem like a silly formality of the past, something that Mom forced you to do as a kid following birthdays and holidays. But, per usual, Mom was right. That tedious task of handwriting note after note is a vital mannerism in the professional world today, and job interviews are no exception.
Still, most candidates do not send a thank you note, which makes the ones that do really stand out. Not only is the practice of sending a thank you note a professional courtesy, but it also serves to remind the hiring authority of your name, which can be especially helpful when some time has passed or when many candidates are interviewing. The hiring authority has a lot on his or her mind, and your thank you note will serve as a kind reminder that behind the position titles and job descriptions are people, one in the same.
So, the next time you return home from a job interview, take a few minutes to sit down and draft a thank you note. The sooner, the better, which leads us to our first piece of advice.
Timing is everything
Write and mail your note within the first 24 hours. Not only will your punctual timing impress the hiring authority, but the things discussed in your interview will be fresh in your mind.
Don’t leave anyone out
If you interviewed with more than one person, make sure to send an individual thank you note to each one of them, and don’t forget to double check their name!
Send a letter even if you didn’t get the job
If you somehow already know you did not land the job in the immediately hours after your interview, send a thank you note out anyway. You never know what connections might be made.
This goes without saying. Any spelling or grammar mistakes would just be embarrassing and could do more harm than good.
Say thank you twice
Along with your handwritten thank you note, it is important to also send an email Immediately following the interview.
What to include
Use this opportunity to highlight anything that you wish you had said in the interview. If you forgot to mention a certain experience related to the job, now is the time to include it. It is also important to reemphasize any skills and qualities that the employer liked about you and that would be vital to the position.
Keep it short and sweet
Everyone is busy, so you’re better off not writing a multiple page thank you letter to your prospective employer. There is no need to encompass your whole meeting in the thank you note. Keep it simple: kind, gracious and to the point. A good way to close is to reiterate your interest.
Include your contact information
Put your phone number and email address right there underneath your name. You don’t want a hiring authority to have to jump through hoops to try to get in touch with you.