How to Send a ‘Thank You’ Card After a Job Interview
One of the biggest turnoffs for any recruiter is to get the distinct impression that this is just another name on a long list. Sure, recruiters understand that you are likely interviewing with several companies, and that their interview may have come after a long line of failed attempts. However, if you do not even have the respect and consideration to put forth your all for the interview, how well will you actually perform if you are hired?
An extremely effective way to make sure this thought never crosses your interviewer’s mind is sending a thank you card. While most people think that sending cards is archaic, this little consideration will show that you are likely to go the extra mile if you are hired. Who knows, it could actually come down as the deciding factor between you and another potential candidate.
When To Send
The timing of your thank you letter can be just as important as sending one in the first place. If the position is one that needs to be filled pronto, sending it too late can render it completely useless. The best rule of thumb is to send it out the day you have the interview. If you know the position is likely to be filled even before that, however, it is wise to send your thanks in an email.
If you have absolutely no clue when the position is likely to be filled, it is better to err on the side of caution. Send out the thank you email as soon as you get home, and then drop a handwritten note in the mail soon after. The latter is always more appreciated, so get that in there if at all possible.
Who to Thank
If you only had one interview, or the same interviewer over a couple meetings, the answer to this is pretty obvious. However, meeting with more than one person, or a board of executives, is something that happens frequently, especially with more important positions.
In cases like this, you want to make sure everyone you met with knows how much you appreciate their taking the time to interview you. This can either be done in a separate letter to each individual, or a master letter that mentions each participant individually.
The display of thanks should actually go beyond the person or persons that actually interviewed you for the job. Other people, such as staffing agency employees, or people that got you that first introduction, deserve recognition too. Sending them a brief note can drastically boost their opinion of you, and give them that warm feeling that comes from being appreciated.
The thank you letter can have beneficial uses above and beyond simply thanking them for their time. If there is an important point in your favor you forgot to mention in the interview, throw in there. As long as it is worked in naturally and smoothly, it should be well received. It is also a good time to remind them how excited you are to be considered for a position you love, with a company you admire.
Things To Avoid
While sending the proper thank you letter is worth well over its weight in gold, sending a shoddy one can actually work against you. Your method of sending is one way you can stumble, always use either email or postal mail. Never make a phone call, recruiters likely have a more hectic schedule than you do, and will see it as a waste of time. In addition, while texting is becoming a much more frequent form of communication, it is still viewed negatively when responding to an interview.
What you include, and how you word it, is also important. Keep things simple and sincere, without unnecessary embellishments. Check, then re-check, for spelling or grammar errors. If needed, have someone proofread it for you. Few things turn a recruiter off more quickly than any type of communication rife with typos and mistakes.
Updated July 13, 2017