Earning

Thank-you notes are more important than ever, say 68% of hiring managers: Here's everything you need to know

Thank-you notes are “a great way to communicate continued interest and enthusiasm for the role."

Twenty/20

So you've just completed interviews for a job you're considering, virtual or in person. You had copies of your updated resume ready, you practiced answers to common interview questions, and you came in prepared with your own questions for the interviewers. Now what?

The most important step after a job interview is the follow-up thank you. More than two-thirds of hiring managers (68%) say thank-you notes, or the lack thereof, have become even more important during the pandemic for evaluating candidates, according to a recent TopResume survey.

"You're expressing gratitude," says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster. A thank-you note is "a great way to communicate continued interest and enthusiasm for the role. In addition, it positions your candidacy to be top of mind."

Because most interviews are happening virtually these days and fewer people are in the office, email is probably the best way to say thank you, as opposed to sending physical notes.

Here are a few tips to get your thank-you notes right, according to experts.

Send thank-you emails 'within 24 hours'

Thank-you notes should come "within 24 hours" after an interview or series of interviews, says Salemi.

In fact, because so many interviews are happening via video chat, "I would make it a point to try to send that email by close of business the same day," she says. "It's fresh in your mind and fresh in their mind."

Send a thank you 'to every person you spoke to'

Make sure to "send these thank-you emails to every person you spoke to," says Salemi. Think back on your entire interview process ― from setting up the time to doing the interviews themselves ― and make note of everyone who helped or spoke with you.

"If there was someone that set up the interview, maybe the recruiting coordinator sent you an email to set it up," says Salemi, "it's a bonus that you send them a thank you. They may be the person who's scheduling your next interview."

If you forgot to ask everyone you spoke with during the interviews for their emails or don't have them from previous correspondences, you can ask whoever set up the interviews for contact information.

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Always 'thank them for the opportunity'

When it comes to what to write in the thank-you note, keep it to no more than two short paragraphs, and make sure to include the following:

  • To begin with, "you always want to thank them for the opportunity," says Amanda Augustine, career expert at TopResume.
  • You then "want to quickly and succinctly summarize why you're interested and a good fit for the role," she says. Try saying something like, "Based on what I've learned about the role, I think my experience or my work in XYZ could really help you accomplish ABC goals that we spoke of during the interview," she says.
  • If possible, reference some of the small talk from the interview. Did you find out you share a favorite baseball team or TV show? Say something like, "I hope the Red Sox clean up this weekend," or "Looking forward to the new season of 'Stranger Things'!" Working such details in will help "remind them of that rapport you built early on," says Augustine.
  • Finally, if you haven't asked what their timeline is for making a decision is, ask them politely to let you know. Then say, "With your permission, I will follow up with you in a week's time (or whatever time frame they may have given you)," says Augustine.
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Before you send, make sure to take a minute to check grammar and spelling.

"Consider [the thank you] like a handshake at the conclusion of an office interview," says Salemi. "You wouldn't end an interview without a handshake; the follow-up post-interview shouldn't be void of a thank-you email either. This one succinct email can go a long way."

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