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The thank you note

March 8, 2011

If this internship is something you really want – write a thank you note after the interview.

An email is fine. It’s also average. I’m talking an old-school, hand written thank you. Some people don’t like snail mail. I love it. You know why? Because the only envelopes I get in the mail now are bills and credit card offers.

But whyy?

It’s amazing how many people DON’T write thank-you notes after interviews. It’s one of those things… it’s like flossing. You know you should and need to do it, and it really isn’t difficult, and it takes hardly any time to do it, but it’s such a chore and does it really even matter?

Well, for one, if they are interviewing a ton of people this is one more way for an employer to remember you by. And maybe there is something (keep it to ONE thing) that you forgot to mention during the interview. In 1 or 2 sentences you can say why you are absolutely perfect for this internship. And, because, it’s polite.

Okay I’ll do it. What else?

Don’t ask for anything. The worst was when someone emailed me after an interview and asked if we could decide soon because he was going home that weekend and wanted to know if he should bring back his social security card or passport in case he got hired. Okay…

This makes my day.

Snail mail is called snail mail for a reason. If you wait a week to mail it, you might miss your chance. Put it in the mail the day after your interview and you should be fine. What you shouldn’t do is have a pre-written thank you that is already in the mail the day of your interview.

Include your contact info in the note – full name, email, and phone number. Also, this isn’t a love letter and we aren’t BFFs. “Love, Synthia” with a heart over the “i” is not the right way to end this.

Note: I said NOTE. Not letter. To be honest, you’ve already possibly talked to me in the following ways: cover letter/personal message, application, phone interview, regular interview, and even a possible tweet. How much more do you have to say?

That’s it. Easy, right? Exactly.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori March 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I read that a mailed thank-you note does help the employer remember you…negatively, as a dinosaur…and that in the age of digital communications, there is no place for a handwritten thank-you note. Thoughts?


Synthia March 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

I read the article you’re referring to, and completely disagree. Thank you notes after an interview, whether written or via email, are not standard. Even though candidates are always advised to send one (especially if it was a particularly great interview), they don’t. I wouldn’t call someone a “dinosaur” because of a hand written note. With the amount of emails recevied daily, especially when going throught the hiring process with interns, it’s nice to see that someone can take a break from their cell phone or computer for a few minutes and really put some thought into what they’re doing.

It’s also nice not to have to search through old emails when making final decisions and thinking “who was the one who sent a thank you?” – because I already have their card sitting on my desk 🙂


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