Do you know that the percentage of job seekers who send thank you notes after an interview is less than 25 percent? Would you be even more shocked to know that the percentage of people who send hand-written thank you notes is less than 15 percent? Talk about a missed opportunity. If nothing else, a thank you note is sign of respect to the person who spent time with you. Always send a thank you note. No ifs, ands or buts with this one. Always send a thank you note.
Job seekers ask me whether they should send an email or a hand-written thank you note after an interview or networking meeting — send both. Anemail is sent and received within 24 hours and provides a reminder at the end of the day for the interviewer. Maybe the interviewer had a complete day of interviews, and your time slot was first thing that morning. Your thank you email reminds the interviewer of your conversation. Email thank you notes provide an opportunity to write a line or two touching back to a topic of your conversation as well as a reminder of your interest in the position.
A hand-written note, while written within 24 hours, is not received until three to four days after your discussion. Write a quick thank you (even if you have poor handwriting) and include a business card. You have space to write a short statement concerning something discussed in the interview, but the purpose of this quick note is to provide a different message from the email note. A hand-written note shows your intiative and personal attention. You took the time to find this person’s physical mailing address, you wrote out the note, addressed the envelope, put a stamp on the envelope and took the envelope to the mailbox. It seems exhausting doesn’t it? At one point in time, everyone practiced this method of communication. Today, very few send letters through the US Postal Service. By writing a hand-written note, you are immediately setting yourself apart from at the very least 75 percent of all job seekers. That’s remarkable. What used to be common practice has become quite original. So be original and get back to basics.
The devil is in the details. And taking the time to extend a proper thank you is a major detail you can’t afford to miss.