A timely reminder from Robin Galante. Not sending a thank you note immediately, if not sooner, after the interview is over is just the same as shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t do the latter by doing the former.
Thank-you notes are old-fashioned. Maybe you’re like me and your parents made you write one for every family member who gave you a birthday present. And, like me, you often feel guilty for not sending them now. But in this age of 2-minute emails and 1-second texts, this quaint gesture is surprisingly powerful.
What A Thank-You Note Says About You
When you take the time to write a thoughtful note to the interviewer and all other potential coworkers you meet during an interview, it gives them insight into who you are. It also tells them:
– You care. You aren’t just running out and grabbing a beer after the interview – you’re still thinking about it and it means something to you.
– You are a good communicator.
– You’re detail-oriented. If you word it right (see below), you can show them that you remember everything about the interview.
– You’ll be pleasant to work with. A thank-you letter is not just advantageous; it’s thoughtful and kind.
How to Write a Good Thank-You Note
So now you’re ready to write your letter – but where do you start? Take out your notes from the interview; if you didn’t take notes, write down everything you remember, from beginning to end. Once you have all your information, you can start writing. Here is an outline to get you started:
– Start by saying thank-you. Duh, right? But you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. Thank them for taking the time to talk with you.
– Tell them how you think it went. For instance, now that you’ve met everyone, you are convinced you’re the perfect fit.
– Answer their questions one more time. Address each question you can remember and answer it again. Talk about your skills and abilities and how they line up (perfectly) with their needs.
– Talk about why you like them. What impressed you most about the company? Tell them what you love about the atmosphere, the systems that seemed to be in place, and of course, the job.
– Close with a promise. Tell them what you will do for them, how you will help their company succeed.
Write it By Hand
So it’s been 10 years since you’ve handwritten anything? Dust off your favorite pen, by some nice, simple stationery, and write it down. I guarantee, it’ll probably be the only hand-written note they receive. It’s personal, it’s unusual, and it’s thoughtful. Tip: type it out first, do a spell check, and copy it down – it has to be legible and neat. If your handwriting is bad and not going to get better, there are other ways to make your note stand out.
Should you email it, or send it by snail mail? If it’s a young, exciting start-up environment, email can work fine. Snail-mail takes too long: you need them to see it within 24 hours of your interview – and Fed-Exing it might look a little too eager/stalker-ish.
The best option? Bring it to them in person if at all possible. Why? Because they get to see your beautiful face one more time; it shows you really want the job; you are willing to go the extra mile (literally) for them. If you had an okay interview, a good follow-up can give you a real chance of getting the job. It’s a small token of gratitude that goes a long, long way.