The Dos and Don'ts of Post-Interview "Thank You" Notes

iStockphoto ( NiroDesign )

iStockphoto (NiroDesign)


It's a no-brainer to send "thank you" notes after a job interview – or at least it should be. This simple act of post-interview gratitude can propel your candidacy forward. Here are some guidelines you should follow when sending "thank you" notes:

•Be prompt. Send your notes no later than the morning after the interview. This will reinforce that the position for which you interviewed is front of mind and demonstrate your orientation toward action.

Be brief. Short and sweet. Indicate your appreciation and interest, and perhaps reference a memorable aspect of the conversation, which will demonstrate that you were listening and engaged.

•Send it by email. It's true that a handwritten note on personal stationery demonstrates charm and care you'll never find in any email, but letters sent by post also take a long time to arrive and can easily get lost or ignored in the company mail room (I've witnessed this firsthand). If you'd like to send a note via traditional mail, do so in addition to an email; instead consider dropping the note off at the company's front desk without fanfare.

•Proofread the heck out of it. Typos and grammatical errors introduce or reinforce negative perceptions an interviewer might have about your communications skills.

•Don't forget anyone. Sending "thank you" notes to some interviewers and forgetting to send to others can get you knocked out of consideration, even after an outstanding interview. Here's why – the interview team will meet after the interview to discuss your candidacy and come to consensus about your qualifications, fit, and presentation; if it becomes clear that you sent notes only to certain individuals, others interviewers might feel marginalized. Send notes to everyone you meet or speak with – from the CEO, to the Corporate Recruiter, to the Administrative Assistant who scheduled your agenda. If you don't have someone's email address, ask the person who arranged your interview to provide it to you.

•Don't go overboard. A simple note will suffice. Resist the urge to drop off gifts such as cupcakes or candies. Such gestures, while potentially heartfelt, tend to be viewed by employers with skepticism, as an attempt to curry favor.

•Most importantly – remember to send it! Shockingly few job seekers even bother to send "thank you" notes. It's an easy way to make a positive impression. Why waste the opportunity?

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at, or via the website,