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Using Thank You Notes to Advance Your Candidacy

By Jeanette Derby, CEO | 11.17.2017

As recruiters, we are often asked if a handwritten note is appropriate and the answer is any thank you note is welcomed.  Yet in the digital age an email thank you is more than acceptable and often preferred.  An email thank you note offers a quicker way to express your appreciation, further highlight your qualifications, and address any unsettled topics.  To represent your advancing interest and underscore your candidacy, it is best to follow up with your thank you email within 24 hours after your interview.

If you interviewed with more than one person at the company, send each interviewer a separate and individualized thank you email.  Keep in mind that it is likely that the interviewing team will discuss the candidates, as well as their follow-up thank you notes, therefore use this opportunity as an instrument for enhancing your candidacy.   

Convey Appreciation

It is important to express gratitude for the interviewers’ time and information shared during the interview about the role, organization, expectations and challenges. 

Attention to Detail

This is a chance to demonstrate your understanding of the role and expectations by summarizing major points of the interview and/or reference something you and the interviewer discussed — an industry related topic, a particular accomplishment that addresses their needs, or even something more personal at the end such as “I hope you enjoy your upcoming time off.”

Passion vs. Strengths

Since you only have a few sentences to express yourself, is it better to highlight passion or strengths?  The answer is both.  By expressing passion for both the job and the organization, you will prove that you are excited about the opportunity and ready to make a significant contribution.  Additionally, it is important to remind the interviewers of your proficiency and strengths to support their challenges and goals.

Overcoming Objections

If, after leaving your interview, you wish you had offered a better answer, the thank you note is your chance to overcome any potential objections by addressing or correcting the record.   

Close with Intention

The closing paragraph is the perfect opportunity to reaffirm your excitement about the role and eagerness to work with him/her and to support the company’s mission.  Encourage the interviewer to reach out if additional information is needed and provide your contact information again for convenience.

In this very competitive market, writing a thank you note will only enrich your chances and make you stand out among the many.  It is a welcomed and most effective communication tool to define your intention and highlight your potential contribution.