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The Value of “Thank You”

Saying “thank you” is something most of us do without even thinking: after a waitress serves a meal, a sales clerk helps you find a particular item, someone holds a door open, or after you sneeze and someone nearby says, “God bless you.”

These pleasantries are part of our daily routines – our American culture. Likewise, “thank you” seems to rise in value when it’s in the written form. Even more if it’s hand written.

In the job seeking world, a simple thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for the interviewers, your values, and interest in the job. But these days, is it okay to send a text thank you? How about an e-mail? Does it have to be a hand-written note on a fancy card or stationery?

 

Choosing the Right Thank You

  • Can I text a thank you?
    • While text messaging is a popular way to communicate, it may not be the best choice for a thank you message after a job interview unless you have already established a pattern of texting with the individual. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consider an e-mail instead.
  • Can I e-mail a thank you?
    • Sending an e-mail is perfectly okay. It’s a great way to send a timely message thanking the interviewer for his or her time and to follow up on your conversation, the same day. This can be helpful if the hiring manager is traveling and plans to make a hiring decision before returning to the office. However, to really make an impression, you still should send a hand-written note in addition to your e-mail.
      • What to include: Remember to start off with an opening, thank the person for his or her time and mention something brief about how you are a good fit for the position. Don’t forget to close the message with a “thank you” or other closing statement and include a signature that has your contact info and a link to your LinkedIn profile or other relevant website.
  • Do I have to send a paper note?
    • A hand-written thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for an interviewer. They also help you stand out from the crowd as many people don’t send thank you notes in this format.
    • Hand-written thank you notes can be written on a half sheet of blank card stock or on a generic, blank thank you note. In fact, I keep a box of the blank thank you notes in my desk so that I always have them on hand.
      • What to include: This note will be much like your e-mail message – including an opening, two or three sentences about why you’re excited about the job and why you’re the best qualified, and a brief closing that thanks the interviewer for his or her time. Most importantly, you want to write this note the same day of your interview and get it in the mail right away. Check out these sample thank you letters for help in writing yours.

A Little Thank You Goes a Long Way

In today’s fast-paced world, I recommend sending an e-mail thank you on the same day that you interview for a position. Sometimes a hiring manager is anxious to make a decision quickly – so they won’t have time to wait for your thank you card to arrive in the mail. However, it’s also really important to send the hand-written note, too, as it will show your attention to detail and will speak volumes about your personal character.

On average, about half of candidates don’t send a thank you note. So, taking just a few minutes to send thank you notes can really make you stand out from other qualified candidates. The time you invest in writing these notes will be worth the effort.

 

 

Author

Trish is a senior communications manager for Sodexo, a world leader in quality of daily life solutions that contribute to the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. As a member of the marketing and communications team for Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition department since 2010, Trish is an employment expert who aims to educate job candidates about the hiring process, networking opportunities and the culture of Sodexo. A graduate of Marist College (BA – Psychology) and the University of Southern Mississippi (MS – Public Relations), Trish has never been far from the classroom. As a former adjunct professor for the College of Charleston and professional advisor for the college’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, she enjoys helping students reach for their potential and guide them through the process of preparing for their future careers. A lover of technology and gadgets, cookies, chocolate and baking, Trish spends most of her free time raising two small children and competing with husband to obtain the most stamps in her National Parks Passport book. Feel free to connect with Trish or learn more about careers at Sodexo.

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