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Should I Send a Thank You Card after a Job Interview?

A Thank You card can easily distinguish you from other job candidates.
It is a good idea to send a Thank You note shortly after the interview - ideally the day after.
A candidate should send a personalized thank you card to each person who played a significant part in an interview.
A person being interviewed.
A thank you card after an interview might set one candidate apart from others.
A man dressed for an interview.
Clothes for an interview.
To standout after an interview, send a card expressing thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Revised By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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It's almost always a good idea to send a thank you card after a job interview. Though some interviewers may not be bothered if you don't send one, it can give you a way of distinguishing yourself from other candidates. Not only is sending a note a polite gesture, it also gives you the opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the position and to demonstrate your good people skills. It's important to write your card in a sincere and personal manner that's also professional and fits the tone of the company you're applying to.

Who to Send the Card To

Generally speaking, you should send one card to each person who interviews you, unless it's a particularly short or preliminary meeting. For instance, you wouldn't need to send one to the secretary who takes your personal information, but you would send one to each person on an interviewing panel, whether that person talked a lot or not. Unless you get a strong idea about a person's preference, either e-mail or a typed or handwritten note is usually acceptable. If the company is particularly formal, then a written card may be better, but you should try to feel out the company culture to be sure. You should also make sure that your card fits with the social expectations of the company's location — what is seen as friendly in one place could be seen as overly casual in another.

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When to Send the Card

It's best to send your thank you note soon after the interview: the day afterwards, if possible. If you wait too long, it could give the impression that you're not prompt in your follow through or not very interested in the job. Sending the note quickly also keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind. It's also important to make sure you send your card to the right place, whether that's an e-mail or physical address. You can usually get this information from the receptionist or from the company's website.

What to Say

When writing the card, try to mention specific details about things that happened in the interview. For example, if a person seemed particularly interested in one of your qualifications, you could mention something about it again. You should double-check that the grammar and spelling of the letter is correct, particularly the interviewer's name and title. If you're sending multiple cards, you shouldn't simply send a copy to each interviewer; each one should be as personal as possible.

Sample Card

If you were applying for a job at a clothing shop and were interviewed by a manager, you might want to write a letter like the following:

Ms. Jane Smith
Human Resources Manager
ABC Fashion Store
Townsville, DE 12345

Dear Ms. Smith,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to meet with me and take me on a tour of your shop. I was impressed by your expanding womenswear section and excited to see a place where my years of experience in visual merchandising could be useful.

Just to re-confirm, I'm still very interested in the position and think I'd be a great fit both with the other employees and with the shop as a whole. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at (123) 456-7890 or at sample@samplemail.com.

Thanks again for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best,
John Doe

Exceptions

Usually, the only time you might not send a thank you card after an interview is if you're absolutely sure you don't want the job and would never want to work with that company. Even if the interviewer tells you that you won't be getting the position, you should still send a note thanking him for his time. When writing a thank you card after a job interview in which you're told you won't get the position, you can ask the person to keep your details on file and to consider you for any other positions that open up. That way, he or she still remembers you positively, and may consider you above unfamiliar applicants for other jobs.

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Discuss this Article

anon936026
Post 29

Thank you notes are pointless. Don't waste your time writing them, don't waste your time sending them. It's a useless job search strategy. It does not work.

anon357397
Post 28

All of those who think it is silly or stupid or needy or whatever to send a thank you post card after an interview must have never gotten the slightest business school type of education because that is stressed in every business communications course.

Furthermore, they must not be reading Forbes, nor are they people who care about getting hired and staying somewhere for a while to build a respectable career. Do yourself a favor and do not take advice from the self-employed, low-paid "contract" IT guy who moves from city to city to keep on surviving. That's not a professional life really, not stable, and definitely not the highest echelon of IT work. Only the poorest, cheapest, lowest-bid-seeking, China-loving companies respect a guy like that for "settling" for them, and only for six to 12 months.

It is almost 2014, and there are very respectable, little known companies who hire for careers and permanently if you show what you are made of, even at entry level. A nice little postcard that simply thanks the hiring interviewer for their time and consideration only shows your civility, politeness and most important, people skills. This is a highly respected attribute in an environment where they are hiring you to deal with clients and their business-halting and nerve-wracking IT problems or needs, day in and day out.

And if this is going to reduce your chances of getting hired, think of it this way: You are better off not working for a company that disqualifies a nice, experienced and well-qualified professional based on him being "cheesy".

I rest my case.

anon282770
Post 27

Remember, when they send a thank you card in place of your first wage, they're only being "polite".

Never, ever, ever thank anyone merely for deigning to interview you. If you're that bad that it's actually a favour for them to have spent time meeting you, chances are you're not worth employing. If you are worth employing, what are you thanking them for? For doing themselves the benefit of getting the chance to employ you?

anon254713
Post 26

I have been a hiring manger for more than 20 years in a wide variety of environments. If it is a mid-level position, I suppose a thank you card may be in order. But if it is a high level position, not so much. The employer knows you are interested, they know what you can do, etc. You have to "read the tea leaves".

At my current level, I tend to send a quick, "I enjoyed the conversation and hope to hear from you soon" email. Nothing more. As it stands today, it is very easy to come across as desperate or needy.

I recommend being confident and not overdoing it. Just my two cents.

anon240749
Post 25

I have always sent a thank you note after an interview. It's to say "thank you for your time, I believe I am a good fit because xyz and I look forward to hearing from you soon." Nothing wrong, creepy or weird (or brown-nosing sheep-like wimpy) about it.

anon239244
Post 24

I think anyone who thinks it's strange or "creepy" to send a thank you note or receive one after an interview probably has never held a professional/advanced skill position. Not judging anyone. There's just a difference in culture.

However, I will assure you, that though you may not have sent a thank you note after you interviewed for your cashier position at Hot Dog on a Stick or your job at American Eagle, the district sales director and director of marketing for your company, you boss, most certainly did when they interviewed for their job. Different levels of employment entail different expectations in professionalism. You may never have to write a thank you note in your life. It just means you never worked in a professional capacity that required that kind of social etiquette (you would know), or you got the job by advancing in the company from the bottom up and always interviewed with people who knew you and your work already, or, you are the boss and you don't need to interview for anything. But even then, professionals who network often follow up with personal messages like notes, emails, or phone calls because that is how you build relationships in business, and in business, relationships are everything.

But if you are working in, say, the service industry, or in an entry level/low level position, thank you notes aren't really necessary. They aren't interested in your ability to impress other professionals and make the company look good. They just want to know you can follow directions and be at work on time.

anon238788
Post 22

Thank you notes are a very nice gesture, but can certainly backfire if not written professionally. In a recent round of interviews, my no. 1 candidate was removed from further consideration because his thank you note was riddled with typos and run-on sentences. His thank you note showed he lacked the attention to detail we were looking for in our top candidate.

anon238757
Post 21

So you think it is a good thing to send a thank you? Let us get real If some of these places do not even respond to an interest in the offer they post,

why should I/we say, "Thank you. I am not worthy!"

Give me a break!

anon238609
Post 20

The only time a thank you card is necessary is if you just interviewed with your Mother!

Yeah, it's a nice gesture but it has no bearing on a hiring decision. Don't think for one second that you have an edge here.

We hire people all the time who never send anything.

anon236253
Post 19

I used to send thank you notes, and it never did any good. I haven't sent one out in years, and yet I keep moving from job to job, bettering my circumstances all the time.

I should add that I am unusual, in that I am a contractor, working at temporary assignments in IT and under the "umbrella" of a recruiting firm.

Perhaps it is "nice" to send a thank you card or note after an interview. However, no employer hires you as a charity case, so the interview process is a two-way street where both parties hope to profit.

It's all business, nothing personal. An employer is not doing you a favor by asking you in for an interview. He/she is simply trying to fill a business need. Groveling, hat in hand, is not going to get you a job. Sending a thank you card might separate you from the pack, but if another candidate is a better fit for the position, that thank you card won't do a thing for you. On the other hand, if you are the best fit for a position, the employer won't care whether you sent a card or not.

anon232056
Post 18

It is hilarious how many people have either not heard of or think it's "weird" to send a follow-up thank you note. I have always been told this is standard for those who want to be remembered.

I write a thank you note after every interview and for the most part, it has been a very positive thing for me. For those of you who think it's weird or useless, don't do it -- more job offers for me!

anon167902
Post 17

People, remember we are living in a very different day and age. I recently interviewed for a position and was told by the hiring manager they received over 900 applications/resumes. Whatever one can do to stand out above the 899 others applying, needs to be done. If that means taking the time to send either an email or a handwritten 'Thank you' by all means, do it! My resume got me the interview and if a thank you note helps me get the job, enough said! Good luck to you all!

anon148036
Post 16

There are clearly cultural differences at play here. I have never heard of sending an interview thank-you note. I've interviewed over 50 people. I would think someone who sent one was a little -- weird. Or at least before reading this. Now, I just think they've been reading advice from the internet.

But clearly, judging by others' responses, there are parts of the world where sending one is normal.

Lesson: Know what is normal in your part of the world.

anon147242
Post 15

Holy cats. I just read the comment that advises against sending a thank you card after an interview, lest one appear to be be a "brown-nosing sheep-like wimp." My friend, I can only surmise that your parents were never taught you that good manners are the cement of civilization.

My next logical conclusion is that mommy and daddy are wealthy, and have set you with a nice, fat trust fund and perhaps even a generous weekly allowance for life, so that you don't understand the urgency of doing whatever it takes to land the job. Either that, or you've been taking a Rip Van Winkle nap since mid-2007.

Move on to the next job? You're kidding, right? Sure, it's easy to move on to the next job possibility - and you'll have plenty of company on the journey, right there in the midst of hundreds of your fellow applicants. Cozy, huh? Just like the crowded living conditions in Japan. No wonder they're smart enough to be polite, or at least, civil. Not to mention that it's part of a code of honor to be so. And not to mention that they're doing something right - they've been eating the U.S. automakers' lunches for years. Okay, sorry to interrupt your nap.

anon147234
Post 14

I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that it doesn't hurt to send a thank you note for any job interview, in any field.

Obviously, to have the best chance possible, it's mandatory to send a TY for a "professional" position - and note that I wrote "professional" in quotes, because serving a cup of coffee to the shabbiest-looking customer can be performed just as professionally as presenting a quarterly report to the well-heeled shareholders of a gazillion-dollar corporation.

That's why I think that it's okay; in fact, desirable to send a TY regardless of the type of job for which you interview. It's a matter of classiness and respect for people, not one's position in any aspect of life. In summary: it's good manners.

anon146234
Post 13

I didn't send thank you notes when I interviewed for jobs like cafe server or cashier, and I still got the job. For professional jobs, those requiring a degree or special skills, however, I would not dream of not sending one. The thank-you note demonstrates follow-through, professionalism, attention to detail, and social competence -- traits which employers in grown-up jobs are looking for.

The people recommending against sending thank you notes are trying to sabotage their competitors. In this economy, send a thank you note, at the very least, if not a full-blown thank you letter.

anon140226
Post 12

1.) I think whether you send one depends on how "formal" the industry is. Business? Sure. Construction work? Stupid.

2.) I like how the writer of this article just assumed all receptionists would be "she"s! Get with the times. Keep this in mind when taking advice from this writer!

anon134169
Post 11

I highly agree with this article. I first learned that it was appropriate to send a thank you letter to a job interview from my college.

The purpose of a thank you letter is supposed to be to let the employer know that you are still interested in the position, and to try to stick out from the rest. If a position is interviewing 20 different people, and you are number four in the interview list, they are likely not going to remember much about you by the time they reach number 20.

As someone said earlier, no, a thank you note will not make much of a difference if you are deemed unqualified, and sure, some organizations will think it is cheesy, but you are probably not going to be "unconsidered" for a position because you did send one.

anon104463
Post 10

I'm very surprised by the comments on this board. Unless you are interviewing for a job at McDonalds, hand-written thank you notes are a must.

It does make you stand out against the competition, and yes, the hiring manager does notice who does and doesn't take the time to send one. It is not the deciding factor, but it is a factor.

anon99925
Post 9

you have got to be kidding! I have never sent a 'thank you' letter and I have got just about every job I have applied for. Furthermore, I have been on many a selection panel and never received one from an interviewee. If I did receive anything I would regard it as a 'creepy' attempt to alter the outcome of the selection process and it would definitely make me adjust my short list!

anon92663
Post 8

I can't believe anyone would consider not sending a thank you letter after a job interview, especially in today's competitive job market. It's not "kissing up"; it's called following up!

Personally, I feel a professional typewritten letter that reiterates the points of the interview and your interest in the position is the way to go. It's also a great way to bring up a point you may have forgotten to mention at the interview.

Don't believe these people who say don't send a thank you. Ask any HR person you know.

anon87983
Post 7

Who the heck are you people? I always send a thank-you email. Depending on how sentimental/casual someone's office is decorated, I send either a letter or card as well.

I do this for job interviews and research (informational) interviews.

When I meet someone at a networking event, I also send a thoughtful email. I always include information that pertains to what was discussed. This has really helped with securing new work. One of my best friends and I went for the same job. We had similar qualifications, etc.

I sent thank you emails to the people who interviewed me, and she didn't. I got the job. And no, it's not sucking up, it's showing appreciation. By the tone of some of these posts, it seems that some people present themselves as being rude and insincere during the interview, thereby reducing the probability of being considered.

anon78272
Post 6

What career experts are these? I've conducted about 50 interviews and only once did I get a thank you email, and I never thought the worse of anyone for not sending one.

In fact, I thought the one "thank you" e-mail I got was kind of a "kiss-up" move. When you get the call back saying you didn't get the job, then is the appropriate time to say, "Hey, thanks for interviewing me all the same, and maybe in the future my experience and skill sets will align more closely with what you're looking for." Leave it at that. Thank you card: waste of time, waste of trees.

anon72131
Post 5

I think that its very unlikely someone would not be given a position because they did noy send a thank you note, but, they could potentially not get the position because all others who were interviewed did send one, or the closest candidate matching their qualifications did.

Most of the time you are probably safer sending one than not sending one, but I'd bet you most employers will tell you if a candidate had a great interview and seemed like a great fit, they are hiring them, thank you note or not.

anon69313
Post 4

About 95 percent of people who are interviewed do not send thank you notes. The job interviewer is the one who must send the thank you note as that is polite. That is PR 101 not the other way around.

Time to get a life, job experts. That idea is stupid and silly. People already interviewed by people who are not qualified for the job or who are not the ultimate manager. Time to give it up and move on. Even Frederick taylor would laugh at that silliness.

anon62434
Post 3

Do you send a thank you card when you land the job?

AuthorSheriC
Post 2

I respectfully disagree with you, anon17415. A thank you email may be substituted for an actual thank you card, but a thank you note of some kind can make the difference between getting the job and not getting the job. I have done this twice and both times the employer mentioned that my thoughtful communication -- in the thank you card or email -- put me ahead of the other applicant they were also strongly considering. I know at least one other person who has said basically the same thing.

Yes, definitely "thank them at the interview", but you see, when you send a written thank you the next day then they know that you have thought about everything and are still really interested in the position. It also does make the decision easier when other applicants don't send a thank you card to express their continued interest in the job.

anon17415
Post 1

Thank you cards for an interview? We already have enough unnecessary holidays to keep the card industries going. Don't support this. You're at that interview for them and they're at that interview for you. Don't look like a brown-nosing sheep-like wimp. This is not Japan. Employee/employer is not a charity situation. Be polite. Thank them at the interview. Move on to the next job.

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