Is it really that big a deal to send a thank-you note after a job interview? And can I e-mail it, or do I really have to handwrite the damn thing? – Lorne M., Jordan, MT
Want the job? Then yes, yes—and yes.
“What you do after the interview is as important as what you do before it,” says Manners That Sell author Lydia Ramsey, so send an e-mail thank-you immediately, then a handwritten one the same day. “A handwritten note makes the best impression,” says Ramsey. “Few people send one, so you’ll stand out.”
Adds etiquette expert Diane Gottsman: “A handwritten note conveys a sincerity e-mail can’t.”
(One Men's Fitness editor even messengers a handwritten note the same day. And, well, we hired him, didn’t we?)
Some expert tips: Before the interview, buy some quality, neutral-hued note cards and a book of always-valid Forever stamps. (We’d pick a flag or fern design over psychedelic Hendrix or Charlie Brown—but, hey, it’s your future.)
You can also invest in a pricey pen, though we’d get an erasable Pilot FriXion Clicker gel pen, our new obsession: It’s permanent but erases cleanly if you botch the job.
Before the big day, stamp and address the envelope. “That way, when it’s over you can send it right away,” says Ramsey. For the note: “It doesn’t matter if you print or use cursive,” says Gottsman, “so do what’s most legible.” Be brief—five or six lines—and include your excitement about the job and why you’d be great at it. Also, try to mention something you learned that day or look forward to doing if you’re hired.
Finally, proofread the shit out of that muther. The last thing you want is a would-be boss’s final memory of you to be: “Thank you again for meating with me today...”