It takes less than five minutes to write or type one, yet so few people take the time. I’m not talking about shooting off an email, I am talking about a handwritten or typed thank you note. Call me old-school, but my parents raised me to understand the importance of a formal thank you note. In fact, they would badger me to no end until I had sent one to every single person in my family who sent me a Christmas or birthday present, or anyone that took any time to support me in any way. When I graduated college and started my first round of professional interviews, my father insisted that I send either a typed or handwritten thank you note the same day I had the interview. (Clearly you can see he was eager to get me off his tab.) He insisted that thank you notes make a lasting impression about who we are as people and what type of employee we might be.
Fast-forward many years, and countless professional interviews, and I have to admit that my parents were 100% correct. Now as a business owner, and the primary person doing the interviewing, I am often surprised at the lack of thankfulness from many job candidates. Only a select few even take the time to send a thank you email, and even fewer take the time to send a handwritten or typed note. The disregard for appreciation and acknowledgement tells me that person is either disrespectful of my time, or truly doesn’t feel a thank you note is necessary – which for me, signals a big red flag!
How Important Is a Thank You?
According to Monster.com, “Most people don’t send a thank you note after an interview, but most HR managers say it’s an important part of the interview process if you want to get the job.” In fact, Monster.com goes on to say that “sending a thank you note after an interview should be an important part of any job-hunting strategy.”
While email thank you notes are fast becoming acceptable (an Accountemps survey found that 94% of HR manager say it’s appropriate to send a thank you note via email), I’m likely to move a candidate to the top of the list if they make the extra effort – with all other factors being equal. It demonstrates to me, that they are respectful, courteous and appreciative of my time. A signal how they would treat our clients.
So, food for thought, isn’t a little extra effort worth the potential reward?