I’m the Managing Editor of Business Insider, in charge of all our editorial hiring.
I wrote a post last week about the number one mistake people I interview are making these days: They don’t send thank you notes.
If I don’t get a thank you note, I assume the person doesn’t want the job, is disorganized, and I’ll likely forget about them.
The thank you should say a few things:
- Thank you for meeting (or talking) with me.
- I really want this job.
- Quick plug about why I’m perfect for it.
Since my post went up, I’ve gotten scores of emails asking the same question: Should I send a handwritten or electronic thank you note?
While it varies depending on the industry, I’d strongly suggest going with the email. Here’s why:
Dangers of the handwritten thank you:
- There’s a delay. I’m a firm believer in following up with a thank you note less than 24 hours after the interview, while you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind.
- The letter might never get to your interviewer. It could get lost in the mail, the secretary could throw it out, it could end up in a pile of envelopes that don’t get opened for months.
- It feels old. It’s 2012. Sending a handwritten note just feels ancient to me. Especially if you’re up for a job in the Internet industry. Be current.
- The chances of the interviewer writing back to you are less. The letter feels more final.
Why the email thank you works:
- You can send it the day of your interview to show just how eager you are.
- You know it will at least find its way into the interviewer’s inbox. Whether they read it or not is a different story.
- If the interviewer ever searches for your name in their email, the note will pop up and remind them that you followed up and really want the job.
- You can easily tailor it to the vibe of the interview. It can be as casual or as formal as you decide. Handwritten notes always feel too formal to me.
- The interviewer might write back to you. The email will be open on their computer, and there’s a bigger chance they’ll respond, or ask you a follow-up question, or continue the conversation.
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