Candidates who send thank you cards after an interview earn valuable extra credit. This extra credit could be the difference maker in determining whether you win the job offer or receive a rejection letter. This article highlights the importance of sending thank you cards as well as emails. Additionally, it offers concrete action steps to help do it effectively.
Why thank you cards matter
There are many opportunities for bonus points in the job search process. Lesser qualified candidates win job offers every day versus more qualified candidates because they go the extra mile. Experts publish numerous articles each week on the value and importance of sending thank you messages to interviewers. Sadly, most candidates do not bother to do it. A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder showed 22% of hiring managers are less likely to hire a candidate who does not send a thank you after the interview. The predominant reasons these hiring managers cited were that it showed a lack of follow through (86%), and/or that the candidate was not really serious about the job (56%). This data clearly shows the value of sending thank you cards.
Thank you cards or an E-mail?
Candidates often ask, “Should I send a hand-written note or just an e-mail?” Send both. A survey conducted by Accountemps showed that 87% of hiring managers said e-mails were an acceptable way to send a thank you. The value of e-mail is that it arrives instantly. Most people in the professional work force use e-mail as their predominant communications platform. Hand-written notes are valuable because it will set the candidate apart from the rest of the field. Only 13% of candidates who do send thank you messages, do so via a hand-written note, according to the Accountemps survey. Sending the e-mail makes certain the employer does not subtract points or disqualify you from consideration. Candidates who do both earn additional points that can make the difference in whether they get the job offer or not.
Send your thank you right away
Timing is an important factor as well. Interviewers will likely make their decision about a candidate within the first 24 – 48 hours after the interview. Send the e-mail message the same day. The e-mail also gives the candidate an opportunity to address a question that might have stumped them or perhaps was not answered as well as he or she had hoped. Hand-written notes can be written before the interview, as they do not need to be long, detailed recaps of the conversation. It can be as simple as, “I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with you today and learning more about the opportunity. I see many synergies between us and look forward to the next steps.” You can add a line after the interview to personalize if it you wish.
Thank you cards after an on-site interview
On-site interviews often require candidates to travel to a different city. Then, the candidate must travel back to their home. Candidates who wait until after they return to write their thank you cards often miss their chance to claim their extra credit. The time it takes to send a card through the mail can often push it past the timeframe of its window of effectiveness. The truly industrious candidate will have the cards written, addressed, stamps affixed and dropped in the mail immediately after the interview. They actually drop the cards in the mail from the same city as their interview before they leave. This will ensure the cards arrive within a few days and positively influence the decision.
Writing thank you cards and e-mails after an interview positively affect your chances of winning the offer. Very few candidates take advantage of this extra credit. Go the extra mile and claim your extra credit. Send your thank you notes and e-mails immediately!
About Endeavor Agency, Inc.
Endeavor Agency is the nation’s leading career agency for executives. Endeavor helps executives, physicians, and professionals find jobs. Our team prepares clients for interviews and our clients win job offers far more often. Endeavor helps clients negotiate better offers and employment contracts.