Career advisers tell jobseekers to send a thank you note after an interview. To address the most frequently asked questions on how and what to send in a thank you note, here are some give aways.
Won’t the employer think that an applicant is desperate and a sissy applicant if he sends a thank-you letter?
Of course not. Rarely does an employer not pleased to receive a thank-you letter. It is considered as a common way of showing politeness, a gesture of courtesy, one way to outshine the rest of the interviewees, and a way to keep your name upfront.
Will it not jeopardize the possibility of getting the job?
Not in most cases, but it could in some point of time. So why take the chance? (so they ask) The answer: Most bosses wavers between the last two most promising applicants, a student and experienced officer for example, after the final interview for a certain position. But when the boss gets a thank-you letter from the student, it made all the difference. Because of that simple well mannered gesture, the student lands on the job.
Can it be handwritten or should it be typewritten?
Actually, it does not matter. What’s important is the thought of doing it. It must be tailored to your prospective company and the officer who made the interview. Thus, respect is further established. However, if the company, interviewer or the position being applied calls for a formal business letter, then do so. Mostly, a handwritten note is okay if the interviewer and the applicant have built rapport.
Will it be okay to e-mail the thank you note?
First thoughts indicate that this is a big NO. However, it depends on the company’s culture. If the people in the company use e-mail in all of their communication and correspondence, then it should be acceptable. This will also apply if the company is into fast decision making when hiring applicants. Always remember that even if e-mails fit in with the culture of the company, it’s still a better idea to follow up the email with a hard copy of your thank you.
So you can just save yourself from trouble since “anything goes” right?
NO. On the other side of the previous story, there are prospective applicants who were almost on the verge of being hired but suddenly hit the skids after sending in a sloppy, ill-fixed thank you letters, with many typographical errors and misspelled words. A part of having a good communication skill is being able to write effectively and companies do not need employees who have to be taught simple writing skills.
Will a borrowed thank-you letter do?
Yes, borrowing is one thing. But make sure to look at the basic structure of the letter. Never plagiarize the whole letter as it may be applicable to the one person but not for the other. Surely, there are employers who can distinguish a thank-you note that has been copied or not.
If it was a panel interview should thank you letters be sent to all interviewers?
Frankly, that’s the best. The same letter to each is as essential as making one for each. All you have to do is edit some phrases for individuality in case the interviewers would bump in to each other and compare the notes they received.
How soon should a thank-you note be sent?
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The golden rule is to send thank you notes within 24 hours after the interview.
Will it still be okay to mail the thank you note if the hiring decision will be made sooner than when the mailed thank you note is received?
Come to think of it, if the mail is too pre-historic for the hiring decision makers, then find a much speedy way: it can be via e-mail, fax, express delivery or personal delivery. In fact, if you have hand delivered the thank you note, it can leave a great impression.
What if there’s already an offer before even sending the thank you notes?
It’s still better to send the thank you notes as this can be used to accept or decline the offer. This could also be a confirmation of your agreement and/or understanding of the offer they have given (salary, benefits, other compensation, starting date, vacations, etc.), this way any discrepancies can be straightened out before even starting for the job.
Always find a way to make it as personalized as possible. Try to think out of the box, you may even adapt what you have observed the interviewer has in the office during the interview. Sending an article that you think the interviewer could be interested in is also another suggestion.
Whatever method you use, make it fast and professional.