The Great Thank You Note Debate

By Ignite Career Center

Do you think it is important to write a thank you card or email one? That is a question that comes up a lot with job seekers. To be honest it doesn’t really matter which one you do as long as you do it. Not writing one could be a deal breaker for some employers.

A thank you card should be short and sweet. If you were interviewed by multiple people, each person should get their own thank you note. You should try and capture something memorable that was exchanged between you and the specific interviewer. As a reminder to the interviewer, you can also include a short statement that encapsulates your accomplishments. Lastly, if you forgot to mention something pertinent during the interview, feel free to add that as well.

Here are my four W’s of writing a thank you note to an employer:

What:  Buy a simple note card that says ‘Thank you’ and write something personal on the inside.

When:   A thank you card, whether email or handwritten, should be sent as soon as possible following the interview.

Where:  Make sure you have the correct email and/or mailing address.

Why:  It is professional and it makes a lasting impression.

So while it’s appropriate to send either an email or a written thank you, my preference is to handwrite a note on a thank you card as, I believe, it is more personal.  In today’s digital world, it is nice to get something a little different. It also shows you went the extra mile which is a good indicator that you will go out of your way at work as well. Most people take the time to pick out their best clothing for an interview so you will look your best, so why not do the same with a thank you card? I once sent a handwritten thank you following an interview, and I received a call from the employer acknowledging how impressed they were that I had taken the time to write a note. I believe this type of personal acknowledgement strikes an emotional chord with people, and that can make all the difference when you are battling in a competitive job market.

While standing out is important, what’s even more important, above all else, is that you take the time, whether by email or regular mail, to let that employer know how you feel.


Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go farther and get there faster.  Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition.  For information, call 410-466-9200 or visit ignitecareercenter.com


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