Saying ‘Thank You’ makes the difference

A recent survey showed that sending a thank-you note not only displays impeccable manners but also may give job hopefuls an edge over other applicants.
While nearly none out of 10 of executives polled said sending a thank-you note following an interview can boost a job seeker’s chances, they also estimate that half of applicants fail to do so. The good news is that more candidates are following up post-interview today than five years ago.
The national poll included responses from 150 senior executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.
Eighty-eight percent of executives said they consider a post-interview thank-you note influential when evaluating candidates, a slight increase from when executives were asked this same question five years ago. Executives also said half of the candidates they interview send thank-you notes afterward, compared with 39 percent five years ago.
“Regardless of how someone believes he or she performed during the interview, sending a short thank-you note afterward demonstrates initiative and courtesy,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. “Conveying appreciation in a well-written message is not only polite, it also can distinguish a job applicant from others vying for the same position.”
Messmet also added that the best strategy often is to send an e-mail shortly after the interview, followed by more formal correspondence. “E-mail ensures immediacy, but hiring managers still favor the personal touch of a handwritten note,” he said.
According to Accountemps, thank-you notes should be just a few paragraphs in length and accomplish the three objectives: expressing appreciation for the opportunity, reinforcing interest in the job and stating the value the applicant can bring to the organization.

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