Post Interview Etiquette: The Thank You Note

After your last job interview, did you send out a thank you note? It might sound old fashioned, but this practice is still in place, and it might give you a small but significant edge in the recruitment process. We work with lots of different employers, and they have told us that receiving a post-interview thank you note is still a meaningful gesture. Here are a few of the reasons these messages still resonate, and some tips for writing one.

Signal Your Interest

When you send out a thank you note, it shows that you are genuinely interested in the position. In today’s cutthroat job market, many employers worry that candidates are going on as many interviews as possible and grasping for any job that they can get – and desperate employees rarely make good employees. A thank you note suggests that you are particularly interested in this one position and willing to take extra steps to be considered.

Personalize Yourself

Hiring managers have to wade through huge stacks of resumes and then interview multiple candidates. With all that information to process, it is easy to lose sight of the individuals actually applying for the jobs. You become a list of credentials rather than a face and a name. A simple but personalized thank you note helps you to separate yourself from this anonymous crowd, and can motivate a hiring manager to go back and take a second look at your resume.

Demonstrate Professionalism

Even if you are interviewing for a highly specialized technical position, employers want to know that you project professionalism and can live up to the standards of business etiquette and decorum. A thank you note may be a small gesture, but it sends a subtle signal to employers that you understand how to work with colleagues, to be gracious and formal, and to carry yourself in a way that will reflect positively on your employers.

Tips for Writing a Thank You Note

  • Collect business cards from everyone involved in the interview so that you have current contact info.
  • For technical jobs, it’s better to send out a thank you email rather than a handwritten note.
  • Send out your thank you note as quickly as possible after the interview.
  • Be brief but specific. You can reiterate your credentials, but don’t just reprint your resume.
  • Keep your tone warm but professional. This is a potential employer, not a friend or family member.
  • If supporting documents would have helped during the interview, include them with your thank you note.

You might not think that a thank you note is necessary, but what if all the other applicants have the opposite attitude and you are the only one that abstains? It is always better to err on the side of caution, and doing nothing is a bigger mistake than doing something. Work with the recruiting and staffing experts at Selectek to learn more about connecting with today’s hiring managers.