It's good practice to get in the habit of sending thank you notes to those who help you during the course of your career, whether it's someone helping you network or an internal contact at a company that pushed your resume to the top of the pile. Yet, what is of utmost importance is always sending a thank you note to those you interview with while searching for a job. This form of recognition does way more than express gratitude to the person or people that took the time to speak with you, but also makes the interview an ongoing conversation. In fact, in some cases otherwise perfect candidates may lose out on a job simply for overlooking this basic matter of etiquette. To ensure you don't lose out on your dream job, here are some tips on sending a thank you note after an interview:
Never write a thank you note in advance
A thank you note should always be personal and customized to relate back to your interview and the company potentially hiring you. Generic thank you notes written in advance come off as lazy and uninterested. Essentially, though you may intend to demonstrate initiative, it comes off as indifferent and fails to further address what was discussed during your interview.
Email or snail mail are OK
A thank you note via email has become an acceptable form for such a document. However, if a company is more traditional, a handwritten thank you note may go a long way. Emails are advantageous when you're trying to communicate quickly, and they are also generally more convenient, whereas handwritten notes may take a day or two to arrive through the postal service. For this reason, handwritten thank you notes should be sent as soon as possible after an interview.
Go beyond saying thank you
While graciousness is important, you taking the time to interview was necessary for the company as well. Besides expressing thanks, you should emphasize memorable details about your interview, continued interest in the available position and your understanding of the next steps in the hiring process. Don't forget to include your contact information as well.
Don't send gifts or use the phone
Sending any type of gift puts a hiring manager in an uncomfortable situation. Avoid mailing anything more than a professionally worded note. Also, don't try to thank a hiring manager via phone call or text message – a phone call will interrupt their busy day and a text message is impersonal and inappropriate.