What is a Thank You Note?
A thank you note is a polite way of expressing gratitude to the person receiving it. It basically shows a person’s appreciation to another for having taken the time to meet the sender for a very important matter, whatever it may be. There are different occasions that deserve a thank you note but this article will deal more with sending one after a job interview.
When to send a thank you note after a job interview
A thank you note is sent after a job interview, but there is a fine line between sending it too soon or too late. Sending it at the right time can yield great results, but the opposite can be detrimental to the applicant’s chances of getting the job.
Ideally, the thank you note should not be sent immediately after the interview as it may seem like a generic note that was not given much thought and heart by the sender. It can ruin his chances of getting the job. Instead, it should be sent perhaps a day or two after the interview.
Why send a thank you note
According to career advice experts, the thank you note can help employers distinguish the right applicant for the job. For example, in the case of three very competitive applicants where the employer is looking for one tie-breaking factor, the note that stands out for gratitude can become that deciding factor.
A simple thank you note is taken by employers as a sign of a person’s loyalty and interest in the job, and also presents the applicant in a professional manner. It may not belong to the top 80% of qualities they are looking for in an employee, but it can certainly be the ultimate deciding factor.
What to include in the thank you note
Here are some points to remember when writing a thank you note:
- It should first say thank you to the interviewer, reinforced by the reason for such thanks. For example, it may say “thank you for taking the time to conduct the interview and allowing me to tell you more about myself and my suitability for the job.”
- It should indicate or tell about a desirable part of the interview. For example, the note will say “I enjoyed listening to you talk about the company’s vision and goals, which has increased my desire to be part of the company.”
- It should bring out the candidate’s most relevant qualifications without overdoing it. A little reinforcement won’t hurt.
- It should express the applicant’s desire to get hired for the position.
- It should tackle whatever concerns the interviewer had about the candidate, without seeming desperate.
- It should be customized by mentioning small details expressed by the interviewer that will tell him that the applicant was really paying attention.
Benefits of sending a thank you note
Writing a thank you note after a job interview is often overlooked or neglected by many applicants because of fear that they might be perceived as being too pushy. However, what they don’t know is that sending a thank you note comes with several benefits, including:
#1 Makes applicants stand out
As mentioned, the thank you note is often neglected or forgotten to be sent by most applicants, which means that sending one can make the individual stand out from the rest.
#2 Shows respect and gratitude
Employers who interview applicants have to take time out of their ordinary schedules in order to conduct the interviews. Sending a thank you note makes them feel appreciated and respected.
#3 Gives you a chance to say more
In times when applicants miss saying something really important during the interview, a thank you note may have its second or third paragraph talk about those missed points. However, the note should be kept as brief as possible.
#4 Shows off one’s writing skills
A thank you note provides the opportunity to show that you have the writing skills required for putting a myriad of ideas into one short and brief note.
Other types of thank you notes
Thank you notes are not only sent to express gratitude after a job interview. They may also be sent for some of the following reasons:
#1 When thanking a company that an employee is about to leave
This is especially true if the bond between the employees and the management was strong and a lot of memories were shared. It can also be sent to express gratitude for all the opportunities the company opened up for the employee.
#2 When getting a promotion
A thank you note can be written to the department or team that the individual used to work with before he got the promotion.
#3 When thanking for a great send-off party
Usually, teammates throw a send-off party to someone who is leaving. After all the well-wishes, a thank you note should be arranged.
#4 When retiring
Upon retirement, a thank you note addressed to the different people at work will let them know how great it was working with them.
Thanks for reading CFI’s guide to writing a thank you note after a job interview. CFI is the official provider of the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program, designed to transform anyone into a world-class financial analyst.
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