In Praise of the Thank You Note

When I was a kid, my mom used to make my sister and I handwrite a thank you note for every gift we received for birthdays and other holidays. As a child all I wanted to do was play with whatever toy, game, video, cassette tape (yes, I’m old) I was gifted and didn’t want to take the time to find a card, write in it, and mail it instead.

Well, now as an adult, and more importantly, as an employer, I can sing the praises of the thank you note. When I receive a thank you note for a gift I gave, for a letter of recommendation I wrote, or for interview someone for a job, my heart warms. I know that I’ve touched that person’s life, and they’ve touched mine.

Since this is written from the frame of Career Services, I’m going to provide some key insights and tips about thank you notes after interviewing:

1) Always write a thank you note. Write one for everyone who interviewed. If it was a panel of 3 people, write three separate notes, with different messages. If you don’t know who all three of those people were because you didn’t ask for business cards, ask the receptionist.

2) Handwritten, in my opinion, is always best. If you are located near where you interviewed, drop off a card. If you live further away and you know the hiring process is taking place over a longer period of time, mail it. If you live far away and know that things are moving fast, write a personal email.

3) Write and deliver the thank you note within 24-48 hours of your interview.

4) Some things to write in your note:
a. thank the interviewer(s) for their time and consideration
b. what you enjoyed about the interview
c. something someone brought up that you want to reiterate
d. a reminder of how much you want the job and why you are a   good fit

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

Written by Maya Salmon, Career Counselor at UCSB Career ServicesMayaSalmon2015-300