I recently wrote about the art of the thank you note and it’s importance to business communications. I realize I need to clarify one thing. While I suggest that thank you notes be written on Friday afternoons for the entire week to streamline your process, this DOES NOT apply to job interviews. When sending thank you notes to potential employers they should be mailed the same day of the interview. That’s right, the very same day even if the interview didn’t wrap up until 5:00 or was a dinner meeting.
It’s perfectly acceptable to send an email thank you the day after the interview (be on the lookout for future blog posts about the email thank you) provided that you’re also mailing one. There is no excuse for not sending a handwritten, mailed thank you note. We’re always talking about ways to set yourself apart. This is a quick and easy one. Here are a couple things to remember.
1. Get the business card of the person you’re meeting with. I always make myself a note at the top of the notes I take to the interview so that I remember to ask for you. This will give you the proper contact information, spelling of the interviewer’s name, and their title.
2. Send the note that day. You want the interviewer to receive it while you’re still fresh in his mind. This requires that you be prepared with professional stationary (no kittens or funny cartoons please) and stamps so that you can send it off immediately. It’s also important to actually mail the note. There’s nothing more awkward than someone handing you a thank you note.
3. Be clear and concise in the note. Here’s a sample note I might send after an interview:
Dear Mr Best,
I would like to thank you for the time and information you shared with me during today’s interview. I am interested in moving forward in the interview process as I believe my experiences we discussed will benefit Smith & Company. I look forward to the opportunity to take the next step in the interview process.
Michelle L. Merritt
Keep your handwriting neat and legible. You don’t have to have perfect penmanship but the recipient does need to be able to read it.
You may also choose to send a thank you letter further outlining your qualifications and how they match the needs the interviewer discussed. If you do so, be sure to type it and then print it on high quality paper. The Merrfeld team can help you draft a thank you letter that you may be modified for each employer. See our webpage on resume writing for more info.