The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to Appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.

Revered or Distained Writing the Interview Thank You Note by Hand

6 Comments

Recently I went on 12 interviews over the course of three days.  If we’re looking at good etiquette that’s 12 handwritten thank you notes due within 24 hours of the interviews.

Lest you think I’m complaining sharing this quantity, I was not.  I was extremely grateful and definitely encouraged and motivated by these opportunities… especially since two companies were ones I’d long admired, and held dream opportunities.

When it rains it pours – I think it truly does when it comes to good fortune.
Once I started setting up interviews, several more came up. 

My advice: Ride that positive wave when it’s presented to you.

I know, I know. Many of you think I should have simply thought of taking care of these via quick Emails simply saying, “thank you for your time and consideration yada yada yada.

In fact, at one interview where the manager did not have a business card, her colleague quickly chimed in, “Email me and I’ll forward her Email to you.”  YIKES!  I may have blanched slightly when she said this.  While her offer was kind, sending a thank you note via Email is really not me. I think that hand writing these notes shows extra care and your attention to detail.

The thank you note is potentially your last chance to make your sales pitch for hire.
Why wouldn’t you give it your absolute best and do it with finesse and class?

 

When hand writing your notes they need to be:handwriting the TY1

  1. Error Free
    • Ensure that everything is spell checked (visually it’s harder to accomplish I know)
      • Bad speller? Try typing it out, spell checking it, and then set about copying/handwriting on to your stationery
    • No Cross-outs… EVER!
  2. Include Sensible Content
    • You need to make sure it that the content flows, your points are made, and it makes sense vs. simply a stream of consciousness of gratefulness.
  3. Convey Gratitude
    • Ensure that they know how much you appreciated the opportunity to come in and speak with them
      • Even if you didn’t find the role/company/manager a fit – I’m sure you’re grateful to have learned this in an interview setting vs. getting hired and finding out while on the job!

 

The Thank You Note Shouldn’t be Rushed

The thank you note is a personal interaction between me and interviewer.  We’ve just spent a scheduled set of time together.  When I sit down to thank them, I want to try to infuse some anecdote or shared experience that was discussed in the interview.  If I’m very interested in working for her/him or for the firm, I will infuse my interest to work there into the letter. Finally, if there were any barriers to my employment, I will try to counter these once more, and express why I think I WOULD be a good fit and asset.

Candidly there have been times where it’s taken me about an hour to think back to the meeting, review my notes and thoughtfully consider what I want to convey, just to complete one note.  The harder the interview (e.g., obstacles as to why they might not think I’m a fit, or if I felt that I flubbed an answer, or even how much I want or don’t want the job) can also come in to play.

I never look at the writing the thank you note as a quick and easy thing to do. It takes time and practice.

However that’s not saying it’s stressful.  I’m really only stressed when I’m “required” to Email my thank you note that same day – per a recruiter’s request.  Many recruiters will ask to be copied (cc:d) on the Emailed thank you.  I’m sure it’s just to ensure that you’ve sent one, but I find the request to Email, and especially the one to cc: her/him quite intrusive.

 

emailthankyoulgWhy I Dissuade You from Emailing the Interview Thank You Note

I have a hard time viewing an Email as the best way to express my gratefulness for whatever I’m saying thank you about.  I don’t believe they necessarily convey whether I’m “digitally minded” or not.  Instead the Email method leaves me feeling as if the thank you note was more of a quick after-thought. Sometimes emailing one can feel like I’ve texted my thanks!  (Should be common sense, but NEVER EVER text a thank you note.)  An Email’s tone can be hard to interpret, and for me a handwritten one conveys a conversational tone, more about my attention to detail, and how much I’d truly like to work at the prospective firm.

When it comes to copying the recruiter on an Email, I’m not in favor of this as I feel open to scrutiny as to whether what I wrote was “appropriate” in the view of someone who was not present at the interview.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the request to Email it. There is a sense of immediacy and enthusiasm in your interest. (The recruiter, if involved, can see that you sent one.)  With an Email, you’re not waiting for the USPS to pick up your letter, process it and then deliver it – let alone the potential lag time between the time it arrives at the firm and the time the interviewer either receives it from their Mail Room, or picks it up at their mail box.  In some large corporations this process can add days or even weeks.  I know these fears first hand. (I once started at a firm, only to find out that the hiring manager hadn’t seen my thank you note until after I was on board!!)

I also know that some interviewers/managers, when asked, will get cagey about providing you with their contact info.  They seem more at ease with sharing their Email and/or will inquire as to “why?” you need their address. To which I don’t want to say, “So that I may send you a thank you note.” That would be very tacky to do.  In these cases, I’ll use Paperless Post, and use one of their electronic thank you notes complete with an envelope and email the note.  I won’t simply compose one from my Gmail account.

 

I Remain Faithful to Handwritten Version

In today’s faster-paced world, I know that some job offer decisions are made quite quickly and the idea of “if you snooze you lose” can come in to play.  However, I still struggle with hastily typing in my thanks and blasting it off into the World Wide Web.  I’d like to hope that if I’m a valued candidate, that my handwritten note will find its way into the hands of the interviewer in plenty of time and could even tip the scales if she/he is on the fence between me and another candidate. The extra effort I took would shine through.

 

 

What do you think?  Do you hand write thank you notes, or only Email them?
Do you think an Email lessens your sentiment?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips if you’d like to share them!

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6 thoughts on “Revered or Distained Writing the Interview Thank You Note by Hand

  1. I feel everyone is different. I find some of my peers prefer an email and wait longer to open a pile of mail while I can’t get others to look at their emails and will read a note first. You may want to get a feel of the person who is interviewing you. If they mention to email them they may not mind. Be meaningful whichever way you send it and follow up afterwards with a call if you don’t hear anything to show your interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your feedback. I’ve always thought that the one in mail would stand out. Still with today’s technology, I know some use their smart phones for all email and may not pick-up their mail on a daily basis. I think b/c I’m such a tactile person (e.g., I like actual books vs. kindle as I like to have the book in my hands) that the physical letter/note means so much.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! I know we all have different methods that work best for us and as you point out – the audience/recipient.

      Like

  2. I think a handwritten thank you really stands out! I received one from a candidate recently and I was so impressed- I hadn’t see that for a bit!
    Boston Chic Party

    Liked by 2 people

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