In today’s age of technology, everything is at our fingertips. Within seconds we have the ability to send a text, make a phone call, or respond to an email. These are all good methods for following up and saying “thanks” after an interview, but there is still one method that trumps them all: sending a handwritten thank you note.
As renowned communication philosopher Marshall McLuhan says, “The medium is the message.”
In other words, it’s not just what you say that matters. The format of how you present it also influences how it is perceived. Making the extra effort to purchase a nice card, thoughtfully ink out your appreciation, and mail it to a physical address shows a degree of professionalism and consideration that is rare in our bitmoji-saturated world. And that stands out.
In fact, according to an AccountTemps survey, “Eighty percent of managers said they take post-interview thank-you notes into account when deciding who to hire."
So here are some ways to make your message shine.
1. Choose a card that matches the office atmosphere.
If the company you interviewed at has a more formal office vibe, select a card with thick paper and a simple design. If the environment is more casual, then brighter colors and patterns are appropriate.
2. Keep thank you cards in your car.
If you’re worried sending a thank you card via snail mail might be too slow, keep a stack in your car so you can write a note immediately after your interview and walk it back in to leave with the receptionist.
3. Use a handwritten note as an addition to an email thank you instead of a replacement.
Another way to stay top-of-mind with hiring managers is to send them an email thank you within 24 hours of interviewing and then, if a decision is not expected to be made for another few days, follow it up with a handwritten thank you note in the mail.
4. Be specific about what stood out to you and how it made you feel.
A simple format is to thank someone for their time, name a positive aspect of the experience that you observed, and share how that influenced your feelings. For example, “Dear Kory, Thank you so much for taking time to meet with me today and share more details about the activities assistant position. I loved meeting the rest of the guest services team and was so impressed by their friendliness and professionalism as I watched them interact with guests. That made me feel even more excited about this position and the opportunity to join your team. Looking forward to hearing from you soon! - Arthur Rodriguez”
(To see more sample messages, check out our post on The Best Ways to Follow Up After an Interview.)
5. Continue the practice of sending handwritten thank you notes throughout your career.
Interviews aren’t the only time that sending a handwritten note can leave a lasting impression. Whenever someone invests time and energy in helping you grow your career – whether it’s by writing you a letter of recommendation, offering coaching and guidance, or connecting you with new opportunities – taking time to share your appreciation in a tangible way can touch their heart and strengthen your relationship.