Remember when your mother always reminded you to say thank you? “What do you say?” she prompted. While most are quick to offer the verbal gratitude for even the smallest gestures a proper thank you in professional settings have become confusing. When do you send a thank you? Is email appropriate or do I need to send a handwritten note? What should I say?
While there are hundreds of blogs that will offer up free advice on how to navigate the thank you landscape I propose that you not only consider the how but the equally important why. First the basics.
- An email thank you is appropriate. If you don’t have their email address send it to the person who arranged the interview.
- Thank them for their time.
- Outline the top 2-3 reasons why you are interested in the job. You can weave in how your qualifications are a strong match for the role but make sure to highlight something about the company and include a personal touch. It’s likely that the person with whom you interviewed would be your manager. What did you like about them. Make it about more about them and less about you.
- Keep it short and to the point. Do you like reading novels in email format? The longer the note the less likely someone will actually read it.
Send a hand written note. I know, you’re probably already groaning. The hand written thank you is actually easier than the email and the response is tenfold. No more than 2-3 sentences including the obvious thanks for spending their time with you. Here’s where you can get more creative and personal. What kind of personal connection do you have to the brand or product? What did you love about the culture? Note something memorable from your visit. Avoid reiterating how perfect you are for the job. That part ended when you left the building.
Why go to all this trouble?
Especially considering many companies do not properly disposition candidates, engaging in the no-response trend. Thank you notes are meaningful and always well received. I love when I open my mailbox and find a hand written addressed envelope. It makes me feel appreciated and I almost never forget the candidates and clients who send them. For these people I would happily go the extra mile. Hiring managers are no different. This industry is about relationships. You never know where someone might end up. Wouldn’t you rather leave a lasting favorable impression? Even if you don’t get the job, a thank you note will set you apart from the impersonal hiring process that our culture has sunken into. Isn’t it the right thing to do?
Photo Credit: All Things Beautiful