How to Ensure Your Post-Interview Thank-You Note Doesn’t Hurt Your Employment Chances 

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Your efforts to land a job don’t end with the interview. Follow-up is a must, but many candidates don’t bother with it, so making the extra effort can help you stand out and give you an edge over a similarly qualified applicant.

Always send the interviewer an email to thank them for considering you for the position. It shows that you are professional, friendly, and polite. This additional communication may also help the hiring manager remember you, which is always a good thing if they have a favorable impression of you. However, pay attention to the common dos and don’ts listed below so that your attempt doesn’t backfire. If you need help with your follow-up email, consider our professionally crafted letter templates.

Send the thank-you note ASAP

Don't wait to follow up or you could come across as unprofessional and disorganized. The best practice is to send the thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview. Get the interviewer's full name and email address during your visit so you don't waste time researching it later. Also, make sure you spell their name right—a typo here will definitely tarnish the impression you’ve made!

Don't send a generic email

This is not the time to use a common template. Tailor your follow-up letter by saying why you're interested in the position and how your experience and qualifications would benefit the company. Reference specific episodes from the interview to prove that you’re not sending the same generic message to every other recruiter. For example, if the interviewer told you they liked something about you, mention it in your follow-up email to keep it top of their mind.

Thank each person who interviewed you

If you met with several people during your visit, send a thank-you email to each one. To the degree that you can, take notes during the interviews so you can personalize your follow-up messages with something that came up during your time together. 

For example, if you went to the same college as one of the interviewers or live in the same neighborhood as another one, mention those things to show that you're attentive. The interviewers will be impressed to see that you took the time to write a personalized thank-you note to each one of them.

Keep it short

The purpose of a thank-you note is to create another touchpoint with the potential employer, reinforce why you think you're a good fit for the position, and distinguish you from the other candidates. 

Keep it professional and concise. A good rule of thumb is to only write what would fit on a physical thank-you card. If it's too long for one of those, shorten your email before you send it. Too long a thank-you note may give the recruiter the impression that you’re unprofessional and disorganized in your thinking.

Only use snail mail when it's appropriate

For the most part, the best practice is to send a thank-you note via email—it's just the way things work in today's digital world. That said, traditional companies may expect you to mail a handwritten note. Try to figure out what kind of company you’ve interviewed with. Here’s a hint: If it has anything to do with tech, you should definitely send an email. If you're not sure which method to use, it's okay to send both an email and a snail-mail note.

Don’t forget to proofread

Tiny mistakes could be incredibly costly. When an employer has dozens of candidates to choose from, even a silly typo could take you out of the running. Before you hit "send," go over your email a couple of times, then read it out loud, which will increase your chances of catching any mistakes. Also, take special care not to misspell the name of the company or the hiring manager. These mistakes are harder to spot, but the recruiter certainly won’t miss them.

Use these tips when you write thank-you notes to interviewers and you might score some extra points. A proper follow-up will set you apart from competitors who don't bother with it. If you need help crafting a quality follow-up email, check out our professional letter templates.  

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