Writing a thank you email after an interview may seem old-fashioned, but it’s still very much on trend. In fact, most jobs view post-interview thank you emails as a general courtesy, if not an actual requirement, in order to get the job.
Senior industry experts like Jessica Liebman from Business Insider It was even quoted as saying that they won’t move on with a candidate unless they receive a thank you letter after the interview. So listen to what your grandparents are saying because it turns out the manners haven’t gone out of style.
It is good to say thank you
Whether you’re preparing for another round of interviews or keeping your fingers crossed for impressing the hiring manager after the last one, thank you emails are an important job search skill. Here is everything you need to know about writing the perfect thank you note that can actually help you get the job.
Just as instantly thanking someone for a gift, thank you emails should be sent quickly – such as within 24 hours or less of your interview. There are a few reasons for this, and the first is simply because you’re still fresh in the hiring manager’s mind. If you send a note a week later, your interviewer may have a hard time remembering you after speaking to so many candidates. It’s also possible that the hiring process could be quick, and sending a late note could even result in missing your window to send one in the first place.
Do it personally
Another way to stand out in your thank you email is to personalize it. This can mean adding a small detail to your conversation, or even inquiring about something the interviewer mentioned. For example, if they said the office was busy with a conference going on, you could ask them how things are going.
These little personal details may seem over the top, but everything you can get and mention in your email will ultimately make your interviewer feel that you have listened and that you care. Empathy is a valuable trait in many workplaces, and being a good listener is a great way to showcase those social skills for the hiring managers. If you tend to forget about details, make a habit of taking notes right after each interview.
If your email sounds boring or you can’t notify Fig Newton of the job landing, it will. When writing a thank you note, do your best to sound passionate and motivated – without ending each sentence with an exclamation point. The best way to do this? Just be honest. Perhaps you are genuinely excited about a certain aspect of the job or looking forward to working on a certain project. Whatever excites you about the position is worth mentioning and your interviewer will appreciate the genuine enthusiasm.
Go the extra mile
If you want the job to be competitive, now is the time to pull out all the stops and prove that you are the best candidate for the job. You can occasionally add some additional work samples relevant to the role or offer a solution to a company problem that arose during the interview. Anything you can do to show how skilled you are will give you a competitive advantage as long as your efforts are not overwhelming. For example, while offering a solution in a sentence or two is good, sending a 30-page report is likely not.
That brings us to our next point. Aside from actually sending the note, one of the most important parts of writing a thank you email after the interview is to appear confident. Nobody wants to hire someone who is overly insecure, shy, or appears to be begging for the job.
Make sure your letter exudes confidence (even if it is a situation where you “forge until you can get it”) and end things on a positive and optimistic note. Skip any tearful-sounding cancellations like “I really hope to hear from you soon” and end with “I hope you have a good rest of your week” or something similar. Act like your interviewer and treat them like any colleague – friendly and professional.
Don’t forget to say thank you
Don’t get so involved in these other details that you forget to do what you set out to do at the beginning, ie actually thank your interviewer. I like to do that right away in one of the first sentences. Something like, “Thank you again for taking the time to speak to me” always sounds good and lets them know that you appreciate the time they took to interview. When you’ve thanked them, go ahead and don’t get caught up in a web of “thank you” gifts. Say it once, then focus on evolving your note around other points on this list, by making it personal or by going the extra mile.
Provide your contact information
Your interviewer may already have your contact information, but it never hurts to add it after you sign it. Be sure to include your personal website address, email address, and phone number. This makes it easier to get your information along in case your interviewer wants to pass you on to someone for the next steps, and it’s just a general professional courtesy that makes life easier too.
Keep it short and casual
Remember, the best emails are short and sweet, and so should email thank you notes. Keep your email short (like in 200 words or less) and even shorter if you don’t have much to say other than say thank you.
You’ll also want to keep your emails casual unless you’re interviewing for a position that requires something more formal. If you addressed your interviewer by their first name in the interview, continue in your email. Always remember: you want to write as if you are speaking. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.
Larissa Runkle is an employee of The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com