Are thank you notes a follow-up essential or a superfluous step? Today we will explore this common quandary.
Thank you notes are a small but vitally important step in the interview process. So after seeing mixed feedback on a recent discussion on LinkedIn regarding this topic, we wanted to explain what makes this follow-up method so crucial.
Though some may argue that they are superfluous, we believe that a well-crafted and sincere thank you note can be massively effective in setting yourself apart from other applicants.
Even if you don’t personally buy into the notion that such a step is necessary, it certainly can’t hurt. Hiring authorities should perceive such gestures as being demonstrative of the applicant’s intentions and communication skills.
With all this in mind, here are a few tips that will help you craft a strong, effective thank you note:
1. Send the note within 24 hours of the interview (preferably within the same business day). This will speak to your genuine interest in the role, and will also demonstrate your capacity to submit timely responses—a quality that hiring authorities expect and value in their employees.
2. Proofread your note carefully. Relying on spell check alone will be insufficient. You should also take care to verify that you have written the name and title of the recipient correctly. Using full sentences, proper grammar, and professional language will be important, as well.
3. Be concise. A thank you note should not be a full retelling of the interview or another comprehensive attempt at selling yourself. Instead, stick to the following formula:
“Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed learning about [Company and Position]. I am extremely interested in this position because [List of Relevant Details]. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Your note does not have to be a precise model of this example, but taking a similar approach is likely to reap positive results. Also, make sure to always end with a call to action.
4. Use email instead of “snail mail.” While a physical note can provide a personal touch, an email will exemplify applicable skills. Showing that you’re comfortable with email is especially key, given that it is the preferred means of in-office communication. So, in general, emailing your thank you note is the way to go. The only exception to this would be if you’re able to deliver the handwritten note within 24 hours of your interview.
5. Be sincere. It’s okay to let a little bit of your personality come through in your thank you note, so long as you maintain a professional tone. If you made a personal connection with the hiring authority during your interview, such as a shared interest in a certain restaurant or vacation destination, it can be beneficial to make a casual mention of this point in your note.
6. Resist using the top Google search result for “interview thank you note template.” Certain phrases have become cliche and will damage your chances of securing the position.
7. Take the time to craft slightly different notes for each interviewer (if applicable). If you interviewed with multiple people, don’t send them all the same thank you note. Sending a different version of the note to each interviewer will show attention to detail and respect for the time the interviewers spent with you.
Hiring authorities can often learn more about a candidate from how they conduct themselves in follow-up communications than how they performed during the interview process. Sending a concise, yet sincere, thank you note is essential.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.