I know. I know. You hate writing thank you cards. Maybe you’re having flashbacks from your wedding or graduation and recalling all those thank you cards you had to write and address to people who gave gifts. But in this day and age when screens rule, actually writing with pen and paper has become more sacred.
The good news is you can use this to your advantage.
Sending a thank you card with a short hand-written message could be just the ticket to help you stand out to a potential employer in a way an emailed thank you may not.
Some people get so many emails throughout the day, they barely glance at them. However, most offices get their mail in the morning, so your thank you card could be the first thing a potential employer sees on their desk that day. Do you see how a card is better?
Plus, you don’t have to buy $5 cards from the Hallmark store. I have all kinds of cards around the house, most of which I bought from Target’s dollar aisle. They come in adorable matching sets, maybe 5 or 6 to a pack with matching envelopes for $1. Seriously, Target has some cute stuff that won’t break the bank.
So after I interviewed for my current job, I felt compelled to send a thank you card. I really wanted the job. I just really liked the people and felt like it would be a good place to work. I remember interviewing on a Monday or Tuesday, and I wanted to make sure I sent the cards during the same week. I sent two cards because two people had interviewed me. One was my manager and the other was the department director. I addressed both cards to them personally.
Note: That’s also why it’s so important to exchange business cards after an interview. It will allow you to have every opportunity to follow up, just in case people rely more heavily on one specific medium. Some people may always have their email up, while others respond better by phone. You just never know.
Ok, back to the cards.
Inside each card, I didn’t say exactly the same thing, but they were very similar. I believe I said something along the lines of, “Hi, so-and-so, I am so glad we got a chance to chat Monday. Even if you do not hire me, it’s good to make connections. I appreciate you taking the time. Have a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you.”
About a month or so after I got the job, I asked my manager about the cards, and he said it was a great way to reinforced what he thought about me as a candidate for the position. He also said another person had sent a thank you card who had not interviewed well.
So writing a thank you card may not necessarily make potential employers completely change their minds about you. But it will at least give potential employers a second opportunity to think about you. Besides, who doesn’t love receiving snail mail? If you see a hand-written letter addressed to you from a friend in your mailbox, don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? I know I do.
The only other suggestion I have about cards is to make sure your handwriting is legible. If you are insecure about your handwriting, have a friend write down the words for you. But make sure every word is from you. And don’t forget to send the card as soon as you can after interviewing. You don’t want too much time to have passed.
I hope this helps you in some small way. If you’ve had success with sending a thank you card, share your story below! I would love to hear about it.