In our line of work, we get asked this question all the time. We always advise jobseekers that it is important to send a thank you card or email after a job interview. Some employers will tell you that they appreciate the gesture but it makes no difference in their hiring choice. But some employers note that it does help to keep the candidate on their radar. Also, if an employer has two or three candidates that they are trying to decide between, sometimes it’s the little things, like a thank you card or email, which can make the difference in landing that job.
Regardless, it takes no time at all and there really is no downside to sending a thank you. No employer is going to hold it against you if you send a thank you follow-up. If you send an email, it takes maybe five minutes and if you send a card in the mail, it takes about the same amount of time and will only really cost the price of a stamp since we all have “thank you” or “blank” note cards at home. Deciding on which to do is really preferential and depends on how quickly a decision is going to be made for the hire.
Now on to the important part: what to include. I know it may sound obvious but always include your first and last name, your contact information, and the position you’ve applied for. I’ve gotten a thank you before and it only had a first name inside the card and no return address…and had several applicants with the same first name. You’ll also want to thank the interviewer for taking time out of their day to meet with you and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Take one or two sentences to reiterate why you are interested in the job and what makes you the best candidate. Close with offering them the opportunity to ask any further questions they may have; you’ve already provided contact information so they’ll know how to get a hold of you quickly.
One last note – even though this thank you may not land you the job you’ve applied for, you never know…an employer may keep that card or email around and keep you in mind when a future position arises. As mentioned previously, there really is no negative to sending a thank you email or card.
About the Author:
Sam A. Mannino is the director of Career Services at Sullivan University’s Louisville campus. Prior to his current position, Sam was the director of Career Services at Sullivan College of Technology and Design. He has a background in education and workforce development and worked for nine years at Greater Louisville Inc. – the Metro Chamber of Commerce.
When not at Sullivan, Sam likes to read, travel when he can and most importantly spend time with family and friends, including his pug, Tori.