By Jim Wong, CPA | November 27, 2013


A lot of job seekers think that after the interview is over, their attention to that particle opportunity can shift to the next. But that’s not the case. Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders said in a recent Forbes article, “Based on my decade-long experience in conducting interviews, I can attest first hand that failure to follow-up can be the deciding factor in rejecting a candidate who is otherwise a great fit.”

Whether a quick first-round phone interview or a proper face-to-face in an office, it’s important to follow up with a ‘thank you’ email. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers don’t do this. According to CareerBuilder, 22 percent of hiring managers are less likely to hire candidates if they don’t send a thank you note. Why? Because it shows a lack of follow-through, and indicates they aren’t serious about the job.

Amy Levin Epstein shares some thank you note writing tips in this article from CBSNews.com:

Keep thank you emails succinct. Besides being professionally courteous, career coach and Forbes contributor Lisa Quast suggests including the following:

  • The hiring manager’s name
  • The title of the open position
  • Something specific about the interview or important items discussed
  • Your interest in the position
  • Your appreciation for their time (the “thank you” part)
  • Your recognition of the next steps in the hiring process
  • Your contact information

Watch your spelling and grammar! Be careful and avoid sloppy spelling errors, such as misspelling the hiring manager’s name. Be sure and proofread your note, read it out loud to yourself, or have a friend take a look to double and triple check for mistakes.

Be genuine, not generic. Point out something you may have forgotten to highlight in the interview about why you’d be the perfect fit. “By pointing attention to something in your background that is very relevant to the position that you are applying for, it is possible to sway the interviewer’s decision in your favor,” says Diane Gottsman, founder of The Protocol School of Texas.

Send notes to everyone you met with. They gave you their business card and took time out of their day to meet with you. They deserve a thank you note as well, but don’t send the same note to everyone. Go out of your way to make a good impression by personalizing each note.

Don’t mention the salary. There is a time and place for salary negotiations, but the thank you note is not one of them.

Sending a gift is never a good idea. While some people send gifts after their interview, you run the risk of a hiring manager seeing it as an attempt to bribe. Err on the side of caution and refrain from sending more than a nice note.

A thank you note is an essential part of the interview process, and is expected of every candidate. Career advisor Jenny Foss says, “Thank you notes matter a ton, especially if you’re running neck and neck with another person who sends one.” So stand out from the crowd by remembering to say thank you.


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