They say that it’s the little things in life that count. In the grand scheme of the universe, a thank you note to your interviewer is cosmically insignificant. But it can actually have a pretty meaningful impact on whether or not you get hired.
It might seem silly that such a small token could make such a big impression on an interviewer. But when you get down to it, the current job hunt is a numbers game. When a hiring manager has a bunch of applicants to interview, they can start to blur together. But less than a quarter (only 24%!) of candidates actually send a thank you note after the interview. This means something as simple as a note to follow-up and thank them for their time can help you stand out from the pack.
Thank you notes are also a way for you to get an updates straight from the source. You can use your note to discretely inquire about when you can expect to hear back about the position, how well you presented yourself, and what to expect in the hiring process going forward.
But how do you write an effective thank you note – one that can seal the deal with your next employer? It’s pretty simple!
Just follow these easy guidelines:
1. Send It Soon
Send the thank you note within two days of the interview – preferably within 24 hours. If you send it as soon as you get home, the interviewer won’t have any new information on whether you’re moving forward and it could read as desperate. But sending it two weeks afterwards won’t do you any good either! Waiting just one or two days means that they’ve had time to mull over their decision, but you’re still fresh in their mind.
2. Keep It Short
Don’t turn a courtesy into a chore. The note you send your interviewer should be short & sweet. No more than 200 words! You can break it down into three simple sections. First, thank them for their time. Second, cover anything related to the interview – maybe you struggled with answering a question or want to cover something in a little more depth. You can also address a gap in your resume, or talk about how you want to expand your skill set by taking on this new role. Finally, let them know that you’re looking forward to hearing back about what the next steps are in their hiring process.
3. Address Specifics
Use your note to revisit a question you answered weakly or to address any concerns that the interviewer might have had about you. This shows your interviewer that you were paying attention during the interview, and it could even clear up any doubts they had about you as a potential hire.
4. Get the Details
The final part of your note is where you inquire about what happens next in the hiring process. They should be able to give you a rough estimate about when you can expect to hear back – usually within two weeks, unless it’s for a huge corporation. Every company does things a little differently, so it’s good to get the inside scoop!
It should go without saying, but don’t send off your thank you note with any typos! While spellcheck can keep any obvious slip-ups in line, you should always give it a reread to make sure there aren’t any glaring typographical errors or misused words that spellcheck can’t catch.
Even though it’s just a tiny token of politeness, it never hurts to send a thank you note – it just might tip the scales in your favor.