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Why Your Thank You Notes are Wrong...and how to fix them.

thank you note


Woody Allen famously said that 80 percent of life is showing up. When looking for a new job, however, 80 percent of life is following up. After an interview, it’s crucial to send a thank you note. This note conveys more than gratitude to the interviewer: it’s a meaningful way to demonstrate interest, thoughtfulness, and follow up.

But how do you do it right?

Personalize it. A thank you note will show a hiring manager that you are considerate, polite, and that you genuinely enjoyed meeting him or her…unless of course the note sounds like it’s the twentieth one written that day. A good thank you note should be about five sentences long, and should mention specific points from the interview. Did you particularly love a company program the interviewer mentioned? Did you chat about favorite sports teams, or music you enjoy? These details not only let them know the note is unique, but it can also be a helpful reminder to the hiring manager if there are a lot of applicants.

Thank you, and… Showing appreciation is always important, but a thank you note is also a perfect opportunity to showcase other great qualities: interest, personality, and a commitment to follow-up. Highlight strengths that were discussed, address any weaker points of the interview, or add any great points that may have been forgotten. Express explicit interest in the position, and reiterate why you’re the perfect fit. Sending a thank you note is a second chance to show your best side. Make sure to write an individualized note to each person you spoke to at the company, and proofread carefully.

Snail mail or digital? Many companies today consider email an acceptable means of following up after an interview, particularly in the tech industry. Sending an email ensures the hiring manager receives the note quickly before they make any significant decisions, and it also shows you’re not outdated.

Yet as handwritten thank you cards became rarer, their value increases. Hiring managers notice and appreciate the time and effort invested to craft a handwritten card, and it sets you apart from their overloaded inbox. Ultimately, assess the culture of the company, and then determine which method would be most appropriate and appreciated.