Fewer than half of the people I have interviewed have ever bothered to send me a thank you note. Those that did truly stood out from the rest of the pack and, if they had already made a favorable impression, this reinforced my positive opinion of them.
There was a time in the tech industry when the notion of a thank you note, even one sent via email, came across as tragically uncool. The notes were viewed as something from a past generation of workers. Hiring processes could complete in the span of a few days. And employees were so eager to prove themselves “rock star” talent with no need to appear grateful. Those times are behind us.
I have colleagues who have made the statement “I would never hire someone who did not send a thank you note.” I remember hearing that and sort of freezing in place, thinking that, had I not sent one, I would not be where I was–over such a seemingly small thing. The note would have no apparent bearing on my ability to do the job or my qualifications. But the note (or lack of a note) did convey how I might conduct myself on the job–it signaled my ability to be gracious, my consideration of others’ time, and my understanding of and willingness to fit in with business formalities.
And, if you’re wondering whether to use email or send a paper note, consider the hiring timeline. If they have said that they will get back to you in a day or two, by all means follow up via email. You run the risk of being lost in an inbox, but better that you get the message in front of them before a decision is made. But if some time can be afforded, a handwritten note on a classic card really makes an impression.
Stumped on stationery choices? Your goal is an undesigned designed card on high quality card stock with a heavy envelope in a cream or light blue. My top recommendation Crane’s note cards.