Interview tip: Send a thank you note to your interviewer

In a competitive job market, it’s imperative to set yourself apart from fellow applicants. While a job position may be top of mind for you, let’s consider the context.

For the average open position, an employer will often receive upward of hundreds of initial applications and then conduct a significant number of interviews. Even if you’re invited to interview and you nail it, you are likely still going to be one in a line of people vying for the position. The great news is that there is where you can really shine by sending a thank you note after your interview.

A follow-up email to the individual or team who interview you is a convenient way to express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the position. You can likely easily find team members’ email addresses on the company website or individual LinkedIn profiles. While that is a great option, if you want to kick things up a notch, I have an even better recommendation. You can really “wow” your potential employer by taking it back to the good old days of snail mail with handwritten thank you notes.

Dropping a short note into the mail adds an extra personal touch that is sure to help you stand out by reinforcing your professionalism. If you’re worried about it getting to the interviewer promptly, preaddress your envelope so that you can drop it into your outgoing mail the same day of your interview. The important part here is to wait to write the note so that you can mention something specific discussed during the interview.

If you’re running into writer’s block, here is a quick template to get started. Keep in mind that you will want to make this your own, especially if you discussed something notable during your interview. This will help jog the employer’s memory of exactly who you are and hopefully increase your chances of being contacted again.

Dear [Hiring Manager],

Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed for the project manager position for Awesome Health Care Co. last week. I enjoyed talking about the new committee you’re forming and am excited about the possibility of joining your team to realize this vision. I appreciate your time and look forward to speaking to your team again soon.

With appreciation,

[Your Name]

Even if your interview didn’t go so well, I encourage you to send a follow-up thank-you note. You never know who you may cross paths with in your future, and it’s a great habit to develop, both personally and professionally.