Post-interview notes are sort of like flossing; we all know we should be doing it, yet it seems to fall through the cracks. Reasons for this vary, but I typically receive one of two explanations. Either candidates simply aren’t sure how to write a thank you note, or they tend to believe that this is a generic move that doesn’t really set one apart from the crowd.
How do I write one?
It’s quite easily done! You’ll end up with a greeting and three basic paragraphs:
- Greeting: This varies. You may start with Mr/Mrs/Ms Last Name. In other situations, using the first name is appropriate.
- Introduction: You simply thank the interviewer for his/her time and say that it was a pleasure to learn more about the company/position. Keep it simple and straightforward.
- Body paragraph: Here, briefly connect the dots between your skills and the job itself. Now that you have learned more about the role, you’ll be in the perfect position to make the case. Feel free to directly reference something discussed in the interview. Again, keep it simple.
- Conclusion: And finally, close the note by thanking the interviewer again, reiterate that you’re still interested, and assure them that you are happy to pursue any required next steps in the process (additional interviews, meet with other members of the team, etc.).
A few caveats:
- Regarding email versus an actual letter, email is the more efficient option. However, hardly anyone ever does a hand-written card these days, so following the email with a card is certainly a nice touch.
- If you met with multiple individuals, you’ll want to write a separate note for each one. In that case, vary your language instead of sending the same exact letter to each person. Coworkers talk (especially when they’re excited about having received a thank you note!), so they’ll be comparing thank you notes with one another.
- Of course, proofread for spelling and grammar. A typo can help you stand out in all the wrong ways!
Does it really help one to stand out from the crowd?
Since the thank you note is a basic, standard item in the interview process, some candidates assume everyone writes them, the letters are generic, and they don’t accomplish anything. I can personally say that nothing could be further from the truth! Having spent several years interviewing, I can vouch for the fact that very few interviewees actually write thank you notes. So immediately, you are standing out from the crowd.
Even further, on the occasions I have received thank you notes, I can assure you they were very well received. With a flurry of emails and letters coming in about payments due, bad news, or problems, it feels great to have a positive ray of light coming at me in the form of a thank you note. A simple, properly written message has all the potential to help you stand out quite nicely.
Adam Lafield, Recruiting & Marketing Specialist
Tiffany Appleton, Director, Accounting & Finance Division