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August 31, 2011


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Just taking a wild guess here, but maybe most people aren't sending thank you notes because the job hunting process has become such a numbers game. The internet has increased the number of jobs you can apply for and probably the number of interviews people are getting. The numbers make follow up cumbersome. Do you send a thank you note to the last interviewer--or get busy working on setting up more interviews?

Also, because of the numbers game, job seekers are having to make more contacts. When that situation exists it's often easier to go wide (more contacts) than deep (expanding the contacts you have).

I'm not saying any of this is right, just that job hunting has changed a good bit in the past few years, and it also seems to have become more impersonal.

All of which is all the more why job hunters should send thank you notes!

Another problem is that interviewers may not part with their contact information that easily. You may write to the main contact, and hope you caught the names of all the interviewers and refer them in your note to the main contact. The interview process is so ad hoc in many places that anyone who is free does the interview, reading your resume after they are already sitting in front of you. In such cases, the interviewer tends to push back on providing contact details, even when the interview goes well. But, yes, it does leave a positive impression if you ask for the contact information to follow-up with any questions you may have beyond the interview. Then you could use the information to thank the interviewer for their time and/or for helping you understand the job better, etc.

Its a nice touch and certainly can't help but improve the impression you give but I honestly doubt this matters much if at all. Qualifications and the interview matter so much more.

I don't recall ever receiving a thank you note for any of the dozens of interviews I've done. If I ever do get a thank you note I really don't think it would have any real impact on the hiring process.

You have to ask how much it really matters and how much of your valuable job hunting time, effort and money you want to spend on such a thing. I think theres better places to spend the time and postage stamp money.

I have always followed up with a thank-you email, but not so much an actual letter. In the cases where I didn't have the contact information, I either a) asked the HR representative, b) found it, or c) just didn't send them one. But the majority of interviews that I have been on I have received their business card.

Is it better to send a thank you note (like a card) or an email? Would the card be received before the company makes their decision?

@Jerry That's my experience too. I usually have sent thank-you emails when I've had the contact info, but that's less than 50% of the time. Such e-mails can also double as an opportunity to continue an interesting technical conversation from the interview, which I think has more make-a-good-impression punch than a bare thank-you.

@sophie Personally, I think sending a card or note would be awkward regardless. In the e-mail era, handwriting implies more personal closeness than I'd feel was appropriate. Perhaps I'm just shy about these things, though.

How could you send thank you's to everyone you met the day of the interview? 99% of the time you are not even introduced to secretaries, etc. I think it would be overkill and they might think you were very strange. If I do thank you's it is right at the end of the interview and in person. Written thank you's are mostly to be sent when you were unable to thank them in person. Have the rules changed?

Sending a thank-you is such a quick and easy thing to do. Besides showing courtesy and bringing your name to the potential employer's mind, it's also a great way for a job candidate to let the employer know that he/she is, in fact, still interested in and excited about the position after the details were clarified during the interview. It's a simple way for job candidates to show their enthusiasm about a position while acknowledging that the potential employer took the time to meet with them.

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