When was the last time you followed up an interview with a thank you note? I recently read an article posted on PsychCentral.com on the effects of saying “thank you”. Here’s what they found:
“In a study 69 participants were asked to provide feedback to a fictitious student called ‘Eric’ on his cover letter for a job application. After sending their feedback, half of them got a thankful reply from Eric and the other half a neutral reply. Those who were thanked by Eric were more willing to provide further assistance. Indeed the effect of ‘thank you’ was quite substantial: while only 32% of participants receiving the neutral email helped with the second letter, when Eric expressed his gratitude, this went up to 66%.” (PsychCentral.com)
I love to tell the true story of how I landed my first transitional job out of the military with a thank you note. Long story short – I was the only candidate to send a note. The hiring manager said that the choice was between me and another candidate, but my thank you note sealed the deal.
A thank you note gives you the opportunity to express sincere appreciation for the interviewer’s time and attention – which shows you can recognized and follow basic social cues. These short notes also give you an opportunity to remind your interviewers of how well your skills are suited for the job. You can also use thank you notes to address issues you may have overlooked during the interview.
What To Write
Here’s a an example of a simple thank you note that I use. I encourage you to draft your own or shop around – the internet is full of templates – make sure the letter is suited for your industry and the job before sending:
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the Human Resources Manager position with XYZ Co. Inc. I am very interested in the position as I know my 12+ years experience in employee training and development will be extremely vital to helping XYZ Co. Inc. meet it’s strategic HR goals. I look forward to hearing from you, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.
How To Deliver
A colleague of mine shared a disaster story about when a time one of his clients pre-addressed her thank you notes. On her way into the building for her interview she spotted a mailbox and tossed the letters in the box. What she didn’t know was that one of the panel members was out the day of her interview – when the panel member returned to find the mis-addressed letter she shared the blunder with the rest of the panel….you can guess what came next. Lesson learned – address your notes post-interview.
Other notes on delivery notes:
– Keep blank thank you notes in your car to hand write your messages after interviews
– Send/Postmark within 24 hours
– Emails are okay if that has been the consistent means of communication