Secrets of the Job Hunt


Friday, August 10, 2007

Sending a thank you note

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Your mother told you to do
it, and now a new survey shows she was right: Sending a thank-you note not
only displays impeccable manners but also may give job hopefuls an edge
over other applicants. While nearly nine out of 10 of executives polled (88
percent) said sending a thank-you note following an interview can boost a
job seeker's chances, they also estimate that half of applicants (49
percent) fail to do so. The good news: More candidates are following up
post-interview today than five years ago.

The national poll included responses from 150 senior executives --
including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments --
with the nation's 1,000 largest companies. It 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 (86
percent in 2002).

Executives polled said half (51 percent) of the candidates they
interview send thank-you notes afterward, compared with 39 percent five
years ago.

Executives also were asked, "How do you prefer to receive thank-you
messages from candidates following interviews?" Their responses:

-Handwritten note 52%
-E-mail 44%
-Prefer to receive both 3%
-Don't know 1%

"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(R) (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "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."

Messmer 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 three objectives: Express your
appreciation for the opportunity; reinforce your interest in the job; and
restate the value you can bring to the organization.

PS...if you listen to my interview with Headhuner Tom Ruff, he has a great idea for a thank you note.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good points. Also, if you need help crafting an interview thank you note, see There are lots of samples posted, or you can fill out a form and request a note written for you.