If your parents are anything like mine, you’ve learned to say “thank you” when people give you things. Whether it be a gift, a ride, or a compliment most of us would offer a hearty “thanks” in return for someone else’s generosity. The interview process is no different. As someone who interviews for a living, I’m surprised at how seldom I receive a “thank you” note from a candidate.
When writing thank yous, keep the following tips in mind:
- Ask everyone with whom you interview for their card or contact information (their e-mail is enough). You need this information to send them a note! Getting their card is best because it will ensure you have the correct spelling of their name.
- Send a thank you to everyone with whom you’ve met. Don’t leave anyone out! Everyone who interviewed you will most likely get together to talk about the candidates. You don’t want to offend someone by making them think you forgot about them.
- E-mail is fine. In today’s day and age, sending a thank you e-mail is perfectly fine. It’s direct, it’s fast, and it can be replied to. Sending a nice card is perfectly fine – and a nice touch – but do so quickly.
- Keep your “A” game going. Don’t slack off on your thank you notes – mind your grammar, spelling, etc. If you’re using e-mail – keep it professional and address the e-mail appropriately: “Dear Soandso,” with a formal signature.
- Remind them how great you are. Use this as an opportunity to highlight why you think you’re a great fit for the position. Try to refer back to what seemed most important to them in terms of their ideal candidate.
- Don’t send the same note to everyone. Take good notes during your interviews so that you can refer back to the specific conversations you had with each individual. Some people don’t realize that their thank you note is often forwarded on to the group of interviewers – meaning that it will quickly become obvious that you sent everyone the same note!
Writing a thank you note is another component of the job search process and just like a cover letter, while it may sometimes seem optional, it is always best to always send one! A well-written thank you might be the “cherry on top” giving you an edge in being selected for the position.
Mike Spinale is a corporate Human Resources leader at a healthcare information technology company located outside of Boston, Massachusetts and is an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He has over eight years of experience in HR and management including career counseling, recruitment, staffing, employment branding, and talent management. Mike has dedicated his HR career to modern views on the field – HR is not about the personnel files – it’s about bringing on the best talent, ensuring they’re in the right seat, and keeping them motivated and growing in their careers. In addition, Mike is the author of the CareerSpin blog where he offers advice and opinion on job search, personal & employment branding, recruiting, and HR. Mike is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College. He is also a board member of the Metro-North Regional Employment Board, a board which sets workforce development policy for Boston’s Metro-North region, and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Northeast Human Resources Association.