Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't let thank you notes go extinct

Some members of my family really like to talk.

Last week, my aunt had a “quick question” for me. If this were one of my siblings, the conversation would have been over in 30 seconds. Actually, it never would have taken place, because we would have done it via text.

However, my aunt knows I am looking for a big-boy job and she took this opportunity to give me advice. For half an hour.

I am not complaining. I am really grateful for her help. Most of it was stuff I had heard before and am trying to implement.

Paul Lewis Siddoway
There was one thing which I thought was outdated, but which I decided to look into.

Maybe it is just my generation, but except for wedding presents, I do not know anyone who sends out thank you cards. Hardly anyone uses standard mail anymore. Everything is done electronically.

However, I found an article which said sending a paper thank you note through the mail after an interview may be the factor that sets you apart from the rest and lands you a job.

The article was mostly about following up after an interview, but they took a significant chunk talking about thank you notes. And not only sending them to the person who interviewed you, but also to anyone in the company who helped you find out about the job and get the interview.

Thank them for their time and effort, reemphasize your interest in the position and how you can help fill their needs, and maybe ask a follow up question (especially if you send a written note) to encourage a continuing conversation.

However, whether you follow up the interview with a thank you note, email, telephone call, or in person, I would encourage you to not follow my aunt’s example and keep it concise.

- Paul Lewis Siddoway

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