Set Yourself Apart with a Thank You Note

Set Yourself Apart with a Thank You Note

By Melanie Joy Douglas,

While thank-you notes can greatly boost a job seeker’s chances of getting a job, most candidates fail to send one, says a new survey.

The survey, by Accountemps, found that 76% of Canadian executives polled said that sending a thank-you note after an interview shows excellent manners and gives applicants an edge. However, executives also estimated that 80% of applicants fail to do so.

Compared to five years ago, candidates are following up slightly less, post-interview, says the survey; executives reported that about 20% of candidates they interview send thank-you notes, down from 23% five years ago.

When asked how executives prefer receiving thank-you messages, 62% said ‘email’, 22% chose ‘handwritten’, 4% picked ‘phone’, and 12% favoured a combination of all three.

"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, in a statement released to the press. "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."

According to Messmer, candidates’ best strategy would be to send an email shortly after the interview, followed by more formal correspondence.