|The Value of Saying "Thank You"
By Trish Freshwater, Senior Communications Manager
The following was originally published on the Student Branding Blog, where students can find a wealth of information about preparing for their future career.
Saying "thank you" is something most of us do without even thinking – after a waitress serves a meal, a sales clerk helps you find a particular item, someone holds a door open, or after you sneeze and someone nearby says, "God bless you."
These pleasantries are part of our daily routines, our American culture. Yet, "thank you" seems to rise in value when it's in the written form. Even more if it's handwritten. When was the last time you wrote a thank you note by hand?
In the job-seeking world, a simple thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for the interviewers, your values and interest in the job. But these days, is it okay to send a text thank you? How about an e-mail? Does it have to be a handwritten note on a fancy card or stationery?
Choosing the Right Thank You
Can I text a thank you?
While text messaging is a popular way to communicate, it may not be the best choice for a thank you message after a job interview unless you have already established a pattern of texting with the individual. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consider an e-mail instead.
Can I e-mail a thank you?
Sending an e-mail is perfectly okay. It's a great way to send a timely message thanking the interviewer for his or her time and to follow up on your conversation the same day. This can be helpful if the hiring manager is traveling and plans to make a hiring decision before returning to the office. However, to really make an impression, you still should send a paper, handwritten note in addition to your e-mail.
What to include: Remember to start off with an opening, thank the person for his or her time, and mention something brief about how you are a good fit for the position. Don't forget to close the message with a "thank you" or other closing statement and include a signature that has your contact info and a link to your LinkedIn profile or other relevant website.
Do I have to send a paper note?
Paper, handwritten thank you notes go a long way in showing your respect for an interviewer. They also help you stand out from the crowd as many people don't send thank you notes in this format.
Handwritten thank you notes can be written on a half sheet of blank card stock or on a generic, blank thank you note. In fact, I keep a box of the blank thank you notes in my desk so that I always have them on hand.
What to include: This note will be much like your e-mail message, including an opening, two or three sentences about why you're excited about the job and why you're the best qualified, and a brief closing that thanks the interviewer for his or her time. Most importantly, you want to write this note the same day of your interview and get it in the mail right away. Check out these sample thank you letters for help in writing yours.
In today's fast-paced world, I recommend sending an e-mail thank you on the same day that you interview for a position. Sometimes a hiring manager is anxious to make a decision quickly so they won't have time to wait for your thank you card to arrive in the mail. However, it's also really important to send the handwritten note, too, as it will show your attention to detail and will speak volumes about your personal character.
On average, about half of candidates don't send a thank you note. So, taking just a few minutes to send thank you notes can really make you stand out from other qualified candidates. The time you invest in writing these notes will be worth the effort.