October 10, 2008
Making a second impression
We’re frequently asked advice about what’s the best format for a thank-you following an interview. Practices and preferences have changed radically over the past few years, and continue to change. How does a candidate know what to do?
There are still three basic choices: the postal business letter; the hand-written thank-you note (either mailed or hand-delivered); or the email. We know employers who have strong preferences toward one method. Sometimes you can make a phone call to someone within the organization and find out (or you can ask your trusted recruiter).
Many hiring managers prefer the efficiency and immediacy of the email. But be sure you proofread carefully so that you have a 100% error-free communication.
Then there are those who respond better to the hand-written thank-you note. Works well for candidates who have good (or at least passable) handwriting and who have chosen a professional-looking note card or stationary.
If the job involves business writing of any kind (proposals, plans, newsletters, reports, articles, blog posts, etc.), the traditional business letter still can be very impactful and persuasive, especially if you want to stand out from your competition.
And, don’t forget to thank everyone you met, not just the hiring manager. Frequently they’ll be asked for their opinion about you.
So, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the thank-you question. What are your thoughts?