While sending a thank you note after an interview can feel like a bit of a throw-back, this gesture may be more of a deal breaker than most job-seekers think. Hiring managers see the thank you note as a requirement rather than a post-interview formality. Sending a thank you note shows that you are considerate, thoughtful, and truly interested in the position you applied for. A quick follow up note is not only expected, but it can also be a great tool to create a lasting positive impression on your hiring manager’s mind. While striking the right note between genuine and demonstrating your value can be difficult, these simple steps can guarantee you hit the right note every time.
Consider the context.
Let’s say you just had a quick, 30-minute “get to know you” style phone interview. A handwritten, snail mail thank you note would certainly be appreciated; but sending a quick follow up note via email is just as thoughtful. A three to four sentence email thanking your hiring manager for their time, restating your interest in the role and following up on any questions you may have is more than sufficient for any sort of remote interview. In-person interviews require a bit more effort; a handwritten note or longer form email is more appropriate.
Don’t try to sell yourself.
That’s what your interview is for. Your thank you note should seem genuine and thoughtful, not like you’re trying to cram a few more bullet points in after the fact. Instead of using your letter to reiterate why you’re an amazing candidate, take it as an opportunity to demonstrate your passion for the role. Reference something specific from your interview, like an unpublished aspect of the job you discussed or even an anecdote from your hiring manager. You can even use your thank you note to highlight research you’ve done on the company or organization post-interview, which demonstrates that you’re truly interested in the position and not simply trying to be impressive (even if you are).
This tip goes hand in hand with tip number two. Really take a moment to thank your recruiter or hiring manager for their time. This simple step is often forgotten in a thank you note or follow up correspondence. Let them know you appreciate them and be specific! It may help to note something specific about the dish they ordered or jokes they made that entertained or impressed you. Did you two have something surprising in common? Or maybe they spoke at length about an upcoming vacation. Take the time to reflect on what was interesting or exciting about your interview and the hiring manager’s style. While it may not be the only key to winning the job a thank you note certainly can’t hurt and it helps your chances of being remembered.
While it may seem like a somewhat excessive practice, the thank you note can be a perfect platform for you to shine and have one more opportunity to demonstrate your value and individual charm. If you’re looking for a simple place to start, TheMuse, Inc. and Fast Company all have excellent thank you note templates that are easy to personalize and tailor to your exact needs.