What do potential bosses and grandparents have in common? They both love thank-you notes. Remember how, when you were growing up, grandparents always gave the most awesome gifts? And then shortly after birthdays, holidays, or whatever the occasion, your mother would start in: “Did you write your thank-you notes yet? Remember to write your thank-you notes!”
Many of us did learn to be gracious and express gratitude when others do nice things for us in our personal lives. The social graces may serve us well in our professional lives, as well.
There is plenty of advice available for job seekers about sending a thank-you note after a job interview. Those who write one are a step above those who do not. However, the sea of thank-you notes that an employer receives after a round of interviews may look much too similar to every other thank-you note he has received since becoming an employer. If you truly wish to make an impression, you must be captivating and interesting while making Emily Post proud.
Emails are quick and easy to kick out with little effort. Asking the interviewer for her email address at the end of the interview will either tip her off that you will be sending a email thanking her, which is not a bad thing, or it might make her worry that you are going to flood her inbox with questions unless and until she hires you, which she may now be less likely to do.
A handwritten note shows you care enough to take time and effort. If your handwriting is illegible, print out your note on nice paper, sign and send. Just as those who email their notes are well-advised to do so the same or the next day, get your paper thank-you note in the mail just as quickly.
You must get past sounding like everybody else. Reference something from the interview. Be conversational, be funny. If you really want to create a buzz, take Kathryn Butterfield’s advice in Forbes: stop being boring. Butterfield might think a simple email thank-you may hardly get noticed, and even a handwritten thank-you note is just a small step above that. If you feel less formal is more appropriate, how about providing a link to a short thank-you video? That way, the employer sees your face again, aiding his memory, and you make a strong impression by being different.
In any case, as our mothers would tell us, “You can’t make a mistake being polite.” Send the thank-you note. Infuse your thank-you with personality and uniqueness.
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