Thank You Notes
The Importance of Thank You Notes
Statistically, less than 10% of interviewees ever follow up with thank you notes. Imagine how positively that 10% will be viewed. A thank you note can make a candidate stand out from the rest of the pool.
How to Write a Thank You Note
Thank you notes should be sent as soon as possible after the interview. If you want the thank you note to have the most influence, it must be sent before the hiring decision is made. Thank you notes should not just say thank you. There are many opinions about them; however, here are some elements to include:
- Express Enthusiasm
Convey your continued interest for the position. Remind the interviewer that you are a good fit for the company.
- Answer Unresolved Issues
Answer and expand upon any useful questions raised in the interview. If you did not get a chance to mention certain points, the thank you letter can address those items. The thank you note is your last chance to make a positive first impression.
- Express Sincerity
It must be genuine, sincere, and recognize the importance of the meeting.
- Personalize It
Highlight a key point from your meeting that was unique and meaningful for the interviewer. This will refresh the interviewer's memory of you. In addition, if you met with several people, make sure you slightly vary the content of each thank you note. It may not be obvious who the real decision-makers are in the group. No one likes to receive a carbon copy of a thank you note that everyone else received.
- Keep It Short
The idea behind the "Rule of Three" is that the human mind can only remember three things about anything, and if pushed to remember, four will forget all four from overload. Choose three points you want to stress about yourself which might include skills, knowledge and personal traits. Ideally, these three points should be presented in the resume, reflected in the cover letter, discussed in the interview and then re-presented in the thank you letter.
- Typed vs. Handwritten
For more conservative firms, you may want to consider typing your thank you note. Typing it conveys that this meeting was important enough to take the time to present yourself in a professional manner. However, alumni (and people you know) may prefer a handwitten thank you. This assumes careful preparation, legible handwriting,and tasteful stationery.
- E-Mail Thank You Notes
If the employer has an e-mail address on their business card or is a technology-based employer, then a well thought out e-mail thank you note may be appropriate. A word of caution: do not make the note overly friendly (many have a tendency to be less formal with e-mail). Also, try to keep your note to one screen's length; employers appreciate brevity. Choose this method wisely. Some employers may prefer the traditional approach.