Monday, November 25, 2013

What Are You Thankful For? : Thank You Notes After an Interview

by Deanna Baker, Career Services Intern 

In light of the upcoming holiday season, we tend to acknowledge what we are thankful for. But we have to ask ourselves, what are employers thankful for? A nice thank-you letter from you! Believe it or not, many hiring managers think highly of the thank you notes people send after an interview. It shows that the individual was grateful for the opportunity and appreciative of the employer’s time. It is very important to send thank you notes, and could possibly be the make-or-break factor in landing the job.

Here are some guidelines when thanking an employer:

  1. Warm up the ink pen- Handwritten cards are always the best. Notes written by hand are so much more personal, and often times sentimental. After working in my first accounting internship for a couple of months, I remember going into my supervisor’s office and seeing the note I had given him on his desk! He appreciated the gesture and liked the note so much he kept it on his desk. So when in doubt, write it out! 
  2. A Thank You in the Subject Line- Only when you know the hiring manager is extremely busy, or if they would prefer an email, is it appropriate to send them a thank you electronically. If an employer is constantly on the go they sometimes would appreciate a simple email that thanks them for their time. However, not knowing who or where to address the thank you note  is no excuse to send it via email! Do some research and find out where to mail the letter. 
  3. Play Your Cards Right- For every person who is taking part in your interview process be sure and ask for their business card. After you have finished speaking the company’s representatives, write a thank you to every individual you spoke with, preferably within the first 48 hours of interviewing, but certainly no later than a week. 
  4. Make it Personable- Each letter sent should be personally written to the interviewer. Try to incorporate what was discussed during your interview. This shows that you were attentive and were interested in the conversation. 
  5. Remember to Proofread!- This is simple: don’t send any document to an employer with mistakes! It is embarrassing to send a letter or email with mistakes. If it helps, type out your letters in a Word document and read it aloud to see if your message is clear and concise. 
For more suggestions, look up our Interviewing Guide on our portal page, or, for alumni, in the Resource Library section of AU Career Connect.

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