If you are interviewing for jobs or internships and not sending a thank you note after each interview, you are missing a very simple opportunity to connect positively with this potential employer. Below are suggestions I give to students when it comes to writing great thank you notes.
1. Put it on paper. That’s right. Send an actual thank you note, not an email. Emailed thank you’s are not unacceptable, and may be preferred by some recruiters, but I’ve yet to hear a recruiter complain about receiving a note in the mail. And in this world of overflowing email in-boxes, your thank you email becomes just one more to delete or file after simply reading the subject line. Getting a thank you note in the mail these days is like getting really good customer service. We expect it, but it’s still a pleasant surprise when it actually happens. And more importantly for you, it shows follow through and thoughtfulness. Who doesn’t want that in an employee?
2 Timing is key. Send your thank you note (or thank you email) within 1-2 days of your interview. Do not send it from your phone as you are walking out of the interview, that’s too soon! It’s like the old 3 day rule of calling after someone a great date. You don’t want to look desperate by calling too soon, but you don’t want to be forgotten either!
3. Even if you interviewed with several people, don’t send a group thank you. While it’s better than no thank you at all, it’s also like getting a gift from an aunt that you have to share with your siblings. An individual gift (or thank you note) makes us all feel special.
4. Don’t send individual notes containing the same exact content. While they can be very similar, try changin at least one or two sentences to make it specific to the person you are sending it to. Reference something that person did or said, or something you may have observed.
5. Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to read a full reiteration of your interview.