The Importance of a Hand-Written Thank You Note

Do you remember when snail mail was just called mail? If so, do you use it to thank people who have helped you, both in your career and your daily life?

© alexskopje - Fotolia.com
© alexskopje – Fotolia.com

In a job search or in career management, you need to brand and differentiate yourself. Expressions of thanks are hard to come by these days, let alone a hand-written thank you note sent by regular mail. Doing so will make a distinct impression on the receiver.

If you still have any doubt, consider this: How many thank you notes have you received in the last six months, or even the last year?

In your career transition, there are many people who’ve been your cheerleaders, coaches, and interviewers. Have you thanked them for their work in championing you towards your career goal?

At the very least, always send a thank you note to the interviewer – or interviewers, if it’s a group panel – within 24 hours after the interview. Doing so, is a simple, striking and cost-effective method of differentiating yourself, leaving a memorable and perhaps persuasive impression to influence the final hiring decision.

A thank you note also provides an opportunity to advance your candidacy by mentioning again that you are the perfect candidate, and that you’re looking forward to discussing an offer, or participating in the next round of interviewing.

Your note serves as a psychological tool for putting you back in the interviewer’s mind a couple of days after the interview. It will stand out amidst other follow-ups, and won’t have to compete in a crowded email Inbox.

If you really want to make a striking impression, send your card by courier. Those envelopes tend to be opened first and treated as more important and valuable.

I send thank you notes to all my clients, and this has definitely generated extra business for me. I find that Target has a nice wide selection at very reasonable prices.

When you’re choosing a thank you note design, try to match the overall colour scheme and tone of your other branded career materials (for a perfect match, you can always have customized cards designed). Also be sure to tuck your business card into the envelope.

Write an eloquent message to thank the person for their time and for furthering your candidacy. Confidently refer to the next phase of the interview/negotiation process, and you might even describe the first few things you will accomplish in your new job.

When you make the extra effort to send a hand-written thank you note, people will see your professionalism and diligence, and your commitment to your career.

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