A reader writes:
Do you have any thoughts on candidates who send handwritten thank-you notes instead of emails?
I’m interviewing candidates right now and I always expect to receive a thank-you email within 24 hours. One candidate never sent me one, so I had mentally declined her. (She wasn’t a superstar in person, so that contributed to my decline.) Well, fast forward to a month later: I checked my physical work mailbox and it turns out she had sent a very nice card.
I only check my mailbox once every two weeks or so…and I’m sure I’m not the only one. (All I receive are marketing materials there.)
I’d like to see it become customary for candidates who wish to send physical cards to ALSO send emails…am I crazy?
I can’t get behind people sending handwritten notes and emails — that’s overkill. They should do one but not both. But yes, of the two options, the better one is an email — because of what you mentioned about how people don’t always see their physical mail quickly, and because hiring decisions are sometimes made before the mail is delivered, and because, frankly, this is business correspondence, not social correspondence, and it doesn’t need to be handwritten. Some people disagree with with me on that last point and still like receiving handwritten thank-you notes from job candidates — but I think they’re quickly moving into the minority.
You didn’t ask this, but I need to say it: You shouldn’t be rejecting otherwise good job candidates for not sending a thank-you. (You should reject this particular one for not being great in her interview though, and a thank-you note wouldn’t have changed that.) Whether or not a candidate sends a follow-up note after an interview, and the specific content of that note, is one piece of the overall package that a candidate presents. It’s not the piece that should make or break your decision (unless there’s something truly compelling and outstanding about the note that pushes and already great candidate over the finish line, or something problematic).
should we reject job candidates who don’t send thank-you notes after interviews?
are interview thank-you notes going out of style?
thank-you notes: they’re not about thanking anyone
how much do thank-you notes really matter after a job interview?