Two for Turkey Day: Thank You Letters

thank you lettersWith the Thanksgiving holiday here we are going to take a look at giving thanks – specifically, thank you letters after an interview. First off, you should send one after any interview, no exceptions. It’s important to show appreciation for the hiring manager’s time and demonstrate good follow-up skills. If you don’t, you probably won’t be hearing back from them. We get a lot of questions regarding e-mail versus an old-fashioned written letter, so today we are going to break down the best approach for each one.

Sending a Thank You via E-mail

This is the go-to method. It’s quick, convenient, and reliable. Ideally you should be sending the thank you letter before the end of the business day, but at the latest make sure it’s in the hiring manager’s inbox when they come in to work the next day. A good thank you note will be direct and concise: Show appreciation for the hiring manager’s time, re-express your interest in the role, and let them know you’re eager to discuss the role further. The hiring manager isn’t going to be excited about having to read an essay, so avoid recapping the interview or spelling out why you are a good fit for the role. The main purpose of the thank you letter is to let them know you’re interested in the role and to demonstrate good follow-up skills.

The Hand-Written Thank You Letter

The idea behind sending a hand-written letter is to come across as more thoughtful and differentiate yourself from the crowd. Unfortunately, if it’s the only message you send you’re just setting yourself apart by being a week behind all the other candidates. You’ll likely be out of contention before they get the message. The best approach is to send an email thank you first, then a written message they’ll receive in a couple days. The hand written letter is best used late in the interview process after an in-person interview with the hiring manager or their direct supervisor. This letter can be the thoughtful touch that tips the scales in your favor.