Monday, April 26, 2010

Is the Thank-You Note Dead?

The thank-you note is just about dead -- at least the hardcopy version is. Snail mail is way too slow for today's fast-moving job market. To stay in the hiring game, you have to send a thank-you email after a job interview.

The value of saying "thank you" will never change. But, the way we say it has definitely changed. Hiring decisions are often made quickly, and if you want your "thank you" to count, you have to get it to the interviewer right away. That means sending it via email.

In this video, recruiter Peggy McKee suggests you send your thank-you email within 24 hours after a job interview. And, if you were interviewed by several people at a company, send a thank-you email to each one of them.

What to Say in Your Thank-You Email

  1. You appreciated the opportunity to meet with him or her.
  2. You enjoyed learning about the organization.
  3. You have such-and-such skills to offer to meet their specific needs.
  4. You look forward to the next step in the hiring process.

After working hard to get a job interview, take the extra effort to win the job offer by sending a prompt thank-you email. For a job interview that's especially important to you, send a hardcopy note in addition to your thank-you email.

More job search videos by Peggy McKee:
4 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Set Yourself Apart in a Job Interview
Break into the Healthcare Field... Even If You're Not a Brain Surgeon
How to Work a Tradeshow / Career Fair


Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, MRW said...

Great points, Peggy and Susan,

The email note is a quicker vehicle to promptly reply to an interview.

Because emails, I think, can seem like commodity items in one's engorged email pile, it's particularly important to make your follow-up content MEANINGFUL. [A thank-you email is more than simply offering a boring (yawn) 'thank you for your time.']

I also strongly believe (as Susan pointed out)sending a hard-copy note in addition to the thank-you email can be integral in reinforcing your value and intentions.

As well, since hiring decisions often are not speed-of-light, there often is time to send a hard-copy follow-up note and set yourself apart.


Donna Svei said...

Peggy and Susan,

I posted this to LinkedIn ( this morning in response to a question about thank you notes:

Thank you letters/hand written notes/emails are an effective way to build relationships. In my experience (400+ searches over 20+ years), only a small percentage of job seekers write thank you letters. Thus, those who do differentiate themselves from those who don't.

It's especially important to send a written thank you to anyone who helps you in any way during the job search. If someone has used their time, knowledge, connections, etc. to do you a favor, please be sure to thank them. You will inspire them to continue supporting you.

Good manners and thoughtfulness never go out of style. While a thank you might not be the deciding factor in getting a job, it will always be a plus in building a long-term relationship with another person.

Thank you for highlighting this topic.


Lisa Correu said...

Good points and I still believe in the hand-written thank you as well. I've even had candidates drop a thank you note at the front desk at the end of the day of the interview. Major points!

Regardless if they aren't well-worded and error free it doesn't matter if they were delivered by George Clooney.

When I left my advertising recruiting job I took a pile of colorful thank yous that meant more than the emails I never saw again. But then again I never throw anything away. :)

Courtesy is never a bad idea.


Lisa E. said...

Thanks for the great article! Thank you notes are so important...for prospects, for clients, for friends and family. I work with a company that has a way to make sending those thank yous and other greeting cards so simple: . I am happy to help anyone who has questions about this product. Thank you!

Lisa said...

I agree completely. In this day and age, it is important for the candidates to get a hiring manager a prompt thank you note, and email is best for that. Some candidates come prepared enough that the leave a written thank you note waiting for the hiring manager at the front desk- and the hiring managers are really impressed by that!
Candidates need to make sure that they ask for the hiring managers business card, so that they have their email address. If they forget, they should ask their recruiter for the hiring managers e-mail, but sometimes the managers, particularly in sales, count it against the candidate if they forget to ask.