The Art of the Follow-Up: Tips for Thanking Your Interviewers

Most hiring managers agree a thank you note is crucial to the interview process. We have heard hiring authorities say they have taken candidates off their lists when they failed to receive one.

It's easy to do, and yet many job seekers forego the thank you. Below are a few tips on making the most of your thank you notes.

Email vs. Written Note
Ultimately, receiving an email or a handwritten thank you note is a personal preference of the hiring manager. Typically, it doesn't hurt to mail a written note, but it will take longer for them to receive, and in some cases, they may never see it. With so many other ways to communicate these days, hiring managers may take weeks to sort through the stack of mail on their desks. While a hand-written note is compelling, sending a thank you email is quick and just as effective. Send it to both the recruiter with whom you worked and the people who interviewed you, and send it within a day of your interview. This will bring home the message that you are eager for the job.

Send Separate Messages
If you spoke with many different people, send individual messages to each executive. Include specific details about your conversation, and add personal details that connect you to them. For example,
"I enjoyed our conversation yesterday afternoon, especially about the processes in place to increase sales."
OR
"I enjoyed learning about your background and experience, especially our shared love of Michigan State. Go Spartans!"
These details will differentiate you from other applicants.

Include Your Value Add
In addition to including details that connect you to the hiring managers, make sure to include how your skills fit perfectly with the role. Remind them that not only are you eager to join the company, but they need your expertise. For example,
"I enjoyed our conversation yesterday afternoon, especially about the processes in place to drive sales. Due to my x experience as x title, I am excited to further develop these processes and increase sales."
OR
"The more I think about our conversation yesterday, the more excited I am to use my skills in x at your company in this role."

Keep It Brief
Hiring managers are busy people, and a long note that reiterates line for line your resume suggests you do not value their time. Keep it to two or three sentences. This is a good opportunity to develop your elevator pitch, if you do not already have one, and adapt it for the thank you note.

At the end of the day, managers want to hire people they like, and the thank you note is a final way to demonstrate your likability.