Interview thank you letters will immediately set you apart from the competition. In this ultra-competitive job market, you should never forget to send them!
If you’ve been reading my column for long, you probably already know that I’ve been recruiting for about 15 years now. This is not exaggeration: During my 15 year recruiting career, I’ve received fewer than 20 personal interview thank you notes.
Obviously, you can get a job without sending an interview thank you letter. After all, I’ve hired more than 20 people in my career. Although you can get a job without one, imagine the impact of sending one! That extra effort could be just the push you need to overcome a close competitor.
Writing an Interview Thank You Letter
Writing a thank you letter is easy, so there are few excuses. Everyone says you should send an interview thank you note. Even your mom! Therefore, I am continually surprised by how few actually do it. Here are my top 3 tips on post-interview thank you letters:
- Use the Mail to Send Your Thank You Letter
Try to avoid using e-mail if at all possible. This is the weakest way to send a thank you letter (though not nearly so weak as sending none at all). Use regular mail or, if it’s your dream job and you want to leave nothing to chance, spring for Fed Ex or US Priority Mail. The extra effort will surely impress your interviewers.
Try to gather up business cards from everyone during your interviews that contain everyone’s contact information (including phone numbers, mailing addresses, and e-mail addresses). If you forgot to do this, call in to the company after your interview and tell the receptionist you’d like to send interview thank you notes and you need mailing addresses. She will always help you with this request.
- Send Your Thank You Letter to Everyone You Interviewed With
Everyone who interviewed you should receive a personal thank you letter, not just the hiring manager or the recruiter or HR person. To add extra punch, include the receptionist or the administrative assistant who gave you directions or booked your travel. If you were surprised by how few thank you notes I’ve received, think how many the receptionist and HR department admins get. Yep. Zilch. Never underestimate the influence of receptionists and admins in the hiring process. Their input is valuable. Treating the Department Admin with courtesy and respect can make all the difference in a close contest.
- Send Your Thank You Letter Immediately after You Interview
You should send your interview thank you notes immediately after you interview. If possible, get them there before any decision about you will be made. Your thank you note has the power to influence what people thought of you, so it’s imperative to make sure it’s delivered before decisions are made. If that’s not possible, send them anyway.
If you know the decision will be made same-day, make every effort to hand-deliver your thank you notes to the receptionist and ask that she distribute them for you. Make sure she gets one too.
See the following article for more information:Top 3 Tips for Thank You Letters after an Interview by Harrison Barnes