by Leslie Rothman
A well constructed Thank You note can seal the deal after the interview. It is a key part of the interview process, and it is a correspondence that isn’t often utilized to its full marketing potential. Let’s re-define what is meant by a “note”. This is not a quick “text” or a handwritten card that acknowledges the interviewers time and simply expresses your interest and thanks. It should be much, much more. And it can make the difference between moving on to a next round, or receiving the offer.
Well-written Thank You
Of course any timely, well-written thank you says positive things to a prospective employer. It communicates that you:
- are interested in the position
- have follow up skills
- have effective written communication skills (assuming it’s well written!
- are professional and courteous
- appreciate their time
It can be more!
A Thank You note is another important opportunity to differentiate yourself because many candidates don’t send them, and most if they do, send a less than impactful note.
- It puts your name in front of the interviewers again, “In sight, in mind”.
- Most importantly, it gives you another chance to “sell” your attributes, great experience and enthusiasm for the position.
To do that you can:
- Re-state your interest in the position and speak to specifically why the position appeals to you, using knowledge gained in the interview.
- Highlight things about yourself that you recognize are most important to success in this position, based on what you’ve learned in the conversations.
- Add something relevant that you forgot to mention in the interview process, or reinforce a specific aspect of your candidacy.
Effective Thank You email
Many consider a card more personal, but that misses a few important points.
- This is a job, so it’s a professional image you want to convey.
- Handwriting is less legible and takes up more space, and you want to make some important marketing points to help “sell” you as the best candidate. Think about the space the above 3 bullets would take up if handwritten.
- When emailed the note is immediately received and even better, you may get a reply and maybe a sense of your status, which is something that is atypical in the job search and interview process.
Thank You Note Tips
- Keep it brief, the reader shouldn’t have to scroll down to read it.
- Make sure the note is error free.
- Send a note to all the people who interviewed you. You never know who is a key influencer in the hiring decision.
- Timely means within two days of the interview.
- A same day response is not best, unless you know they are making a decision that day. You want the interviewers to be reminded of you the next day, “In sight, in mind” and over eager isn’t the image you want to project.
- It is wise to draft the note while the conversation is fresh, then save it and review again the next day. Other things might come to mind after having “slept” on it.
As a hiring manager, I can tell you first hand that with strong finalist candidates, a great thank you note has changed my decision about who to make an offer to.
Doesn’t it make sense to make this correspondence one that “closes the deal” for YOU as the RIGHT candidate?