GUEST BLOG: Have you ever sent a follow up thank-you note after an interview? Is it a nice gesture or a bit over the top? Here our guest writer, Grace Carter discusses how to get the follow up note right.
There are several ways you can make your post-interview thank-you note memorable. Make your note stand out from the rest by personalizing it, using a memorable delivery method, timing it correctly, using quality materials, being professional, and using online writing and editing tools to make it shine.
1 – Personalize your note
You can make your note memorable by mentioning a few references to the interview, these specific points will help separate you from the other applicants. Perhaps during the interview you discovered that both you and the recruiter attended the same university, you could touch on this shared experience. It’s good to personalize, but do be careful not to be too informal, even if you feel you built up some good rapport with the interviewer. Personalizing doesn’t have to take much time, but at the very least it is good to address the note to the person, or group, that interviewed you. In your greeting for any post-interview note you should express your excitement about the position, but try and customize each greeting a bit. Doing this shows that you care about the process. Sending out generic notes to everyone you interview with is not recommended.
2 – Delivery method
Email is probably the most sensible choice, since hiring managers generally check their email once a day or more, and are probably expecting to receive your note this way. You can also send a LinkedIn direct message, the downside being the recipient may not receive it right away, depending on how often they check that inbox. A handwritten note will definitely stand out in the hiring manager’s memory, if you can guarantee they receive it on time, before they make their final decision. These notes are great if you are applying for a different position at your company or an office nearby. In these cases you can ensure timely delivery by dropping them off yourself.
3 – Get the timing right
“It’s critical to send out your note as soon as possible, so the hiring manager can read it before a decision is made. Of course, this is not to suggest you should slap it together; put some thought into it. This is your last chance to make an impression,” advises Mary Schober, HR manager at Academized. Applicants will sometimes show up to an interview with a note already written, and hand it to the hiring manager once the interview has ended. Do not do this. You will appear disingenuous. How could you write a note about an experience you have not gone through yet? The purpose of your note is to express your gratitude for their time and professionalism, and this will be totally lost if they know you wrote the note beforehand. It becomes a meaningless gesture that only serves to reflect poorly on you.
4 – Use quality materials
Choose clean, professional looking stationary or email templates to write your note on. You want to be taken seriously as a professional, and those cute polka dot templates you use for friends won’t have the same impact on a hiring manager. Think of these materials as part of your personal brand. Everything about them should imply serious, professional job-seeker. Choose easily readable font and format if you are using email, and nothing affiliated with your former employer. Use a personal email with an appropriate handle and a signature that includes your contact information.
5 – Be professional
Sometimes you will have an interview where you really clicked with the hiring manager and the interview feels more relaxed and informal. Be careful in these situations not to carry this relaxed and informal tone into your thank-you note. Be professional in your tone, use proper prefixes and correct language, use proper tenses and grammar. Resist the temptation to use slang and emojis, even if you feel you have great rapport with the interviewer. Take this opportunity to show off your writing skills. It’s much better to be remembered for your professional writing than for fouling up and using slang in your thank-you letter.
6 – Use online writing and editing tools
Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone, so don’t hesitate to get some help from the professionals. Here are some good resources to get you started:
#1. Via Writing and State of Writing – These are grammar resources you can use to check over your thank-you note for grammatical errors. You definitely do not want your final impression to be one of someone who can’t be bothered to check their copy over.
· When you’re in your next interview, try and take mental notes on important things that come up in the interview, specifics you can touch on in your follow up letter, and specifically things you can mention that will make yours memorable. Preparation is key to writing a memorable post-interview thank-you note, and that preparation begins as soon as the interview starts.
· Remember to personalize your note, boilerplate notes are easy, but won’t help you stand out. Depending on your circumstances, a hand-written note may be a good way to be memorable, but only if you can guarantee timely delivery. Make sure you don’t dawdle in writing and sending out your note. Choose quality materials that reflect your status as a professional, and use online tools to improve the writing quality of your note.