Edited September 17, 2015
A thank you note is more than a simple way to show gratitude – it is a powerful job interview tool.
During and following a job interview, your mission is to be be memorable. Setting yourself apart from the applicant pool in a positive way not only increases your likelihood of advancing in the hiring processes, but also distinguishes you when your skills and professional qualifications are equally matched by other interviewees.
Stand out by harnessing the power of thank you notes with these easy tips:
Time is of the Essence
Submit your thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. Sending a punctual thank you note demonstrates your initiative, expresses your eagerness, and keeps your memory fresh in the hiring manager’s mind. A tardy thank you note will give you a check in the “Lazy” column, which could dim the shining moments of your interview.
Tailor the Format to Your Industry
Deciding between use of an email, formal letter, or handwritten thank you note doesn’t have to be difficult – select the format that best suits your line of work.
Email. Sending a thank you note via email is a safe bet for any field since a striking majority of employers handle their hiring functions online, even if most of their business is completed out of a traditional office. This is especially true for any industry that’s synonymous with a fast-paced environment.
Formal letter. Drafting a traditional, type-written thank you letter is still acceptable if it’s sent in a timely manner. While you may run the risk of processing delays, sending a formal thank you letter is a viable option if you’ve interviewed with a moderately sized company or an employer who won’t make hiring decisions right away.
Handwritten note. As long as your penmanship is legible, a handwritten thank you note is appropriate following an interview with a local business or an employer in a creative field. The last thing you want is to give the impression that the note was written by a deranged serial killer or a clawed animal with a love of stationary.
Tag Everyone in the Room
Although the recruiting manager is the centerpiece to your hiring success, you shouldn’t ignore other players when it’s time to send a thank you note. If you really want to leave a lasting impression, send thank you letters to everyone in the room during your job interview, as well as to other organization members you interacted with during the application and interview process.
Don’t dismiss writing a thank you note as an antiquated practice that doesn’t work in the modern workplace. In addition to expressing your gratitude for the hiring manager taking time to consider you for the position, a thank you note is the perfect place to reiterate how much you want the job.
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