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Should We Still Be Sending Thank-You Notes After Interviews?

Times have changed, in large part due to technological advancements, and our culture has changed right along with them. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether or not some of the old ideas about interview etiquette are still valid. Take, for example, the post-interview thank-you note. Is this something we should still be doing? Or, is it out-of-fashion and out-of-date? Here are a few things to keep in mind after your next interview.
thank-you note
Image Credit: Izabel Brito/Getty Images
  1. Yes, handwritten thank-you notes are still totally relevant.

Handwritten letter-writing practices have been on the decline for quite some time. But just because a lot of us (especially younger workers) aren’t really accustomed to this practice, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a good idea. Sending a thank-you note after an interview could make a big difference. Some people email their notes now, but sending a card by mail shows more effort and care. (Some folks now recommend sending both.) If done right, a handwritten thank-you note can help demonstrate your professionalism and your interest. So, yes, even though it’s 2017 and you haven’t written a letter by hand in a long time, it’s still something to keep in mind. And, it’s still definitely a relevant part of the interview process.

  1. This small gesture can speak volumes.

As long as you do a nice job with your thank-you note (it’s well-written, grammatically accurate, sincere, etc.,) sending it can’t hurt anything. In fact, taking your time to attend to this final step of the interview process could go a long way toward showing that you have the soft skills today’s employer craves. It is a testament to your organizational abilities and your follow-through. A well-written note demonstrates your social, interpersonal, and writing skills. Also, sending a card like this after an interview sends the message that this is a job that’s really exciting to you. It’s a small gesture, and something that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. But, it could speak volumes about your skills, abilities, and personality.

  1. It shows you’re grateful.

Regardless of what you think about sending a note after your interview, remember that the people who took the time to interview you might value it. If they’re like a lot of folks, they regard these notes as a common courtesy. It shows you appreciate their time. So, if you don’t send a note, it could, quite literally, cost you the job. According to a CareerBuilder survey cited by Fast Company, 22 percent of employers say they’re less likely to hire a candidate who doesn’t send a thank-you note. Additionally, 56 percent said it showed the candidate really wasn’t serious about the position. And, 86 percent said the decision not to send a card demonstrated lack of follow-through.

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  1. It could separate you from the pack.

Since handwritten notes have fallen out of fashion to some extent, now may a better time than ever to send one. Sending a card helps you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Long after the emailed notes have been deleted, your physical note will remain, to remind your prospective employer of you and your interview.

The fact that handwritten notes last longer shouldn’t be underestimated. The extra time required to open and read such a card (among a sea of other mail that’s probably mostly a pain in the neck to deal with) helps to separate your gesture from the emails in a big way. Handwritten thank-you notes after interviews might not be as common as they used to be, but now may be a better time than ever to send one just the same.

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