4 tips on writing an impactful post-interview thank you note

Sending a thank you note or email after being interviewed is a must. If you don’t send one, you aren’t displaying common courtesy and may give the impression you don’t value the interviewer’s time, the job opportunity or your reputation.

This, of course, could directly (and negatively) impact the hiring decision. I know many managers who have not hired someone based on not receiving a thank you note, and as a fellow hiring manager, I have followed the same rule of thumb. In and of itself, sending a thank you note isn’t good enough.

If your follow-up note or email doesn’t generate excitement and keep you at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind, all it does is help ensure you aren’t guilty of an interview etiquette blunder.

To stand out and increase your chances of landing the job, your memo needs to be memorable and impactful. Here are tips on how to accomplish this.

Show you were paying attention

It’s important to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you understand what the job entails. Recap a few of the job requirements and then remind the manager why you are a good fit for the position. Be sure to mention the aspects of the position you are most looking forward to and why.

This will let the manager know you fully understand the job’s duties and are looking forward to the new responsibilities.

Show off your writing skills

The interviewer has a glimpse into your verbal communication style but has no idea if you can write an email. Taking the time to craft quality and personality- filled sentences and paragraphs will help build the hiring manager’s confidence in your overall abilities to communicate effectively. Be sure you also pay attention to important details (like the correct spelling of someone’s name or the official company job title you are applying for) and don’t forget to proofread and fix typos.

Show you are timely

Managers want someone on their team who is sincere and who can demonstrate good follow-through skills. If you send your thank you note at the right time, you can show your potential new boss this is you. The best time to send a note is between four and 24 hours after the interview.

Responding soon but not too soon gives the impression you are not only excited about the opportunity, but you also took the time to reflect upon the conversation.

Show you care

Your note should convey some sort of emotion be it excitement, curiosity or compassion. Get the manager to feel what you are feeling by sharing an inspiring short story that ties into the job, asking a good question or voicing your enthusiasm. You should also express gratitude for the interviewer’s time.

Expressing yourself, personalizing your message and giving thanks will let the manager know the position is meaningful to you and isn’t just “another job.”

If you were hoping for a post-interview note template to use at the end of this article, you still don’t get it. Templates and cut-and-paste sounding emails will not leave your prospective new boss with a positive impression.

As a hiring manager, I am always flabbergasted (and a bit offended) when I get a note that lacks heart and soul (or a minimal basic thought and more than five well-written sentences). The lack of creativity and effort concerns me. If you can’t give me 100 percent in a thank you email, how could I envision you giving me 100 percent in the office?

Be sure you don’t have this effect on the hiring manager. When writing and sending your post-interview note ensure it’s personalized, well-timed, passionate, specific and most importantly YOU.

Danielle Clark is a human resources manager with more than 10 years of HR and customer service experience in healthcare and retail organizations. Her work with Fortune 500 companies, in addition to a diverse professional and academic background, has trained Clark to be results-driven, people-focused and a thought-provoking leader. Her goal is to educate and inspire professionals to change their way of thinking. She is also an adjunct professor, active community volunteer, wife, mother and passionate lifelong learner.

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