I'm the Managing Editor of Business Insider, in charge of all our editorial hiring.
I wrote a post last week about the number one mistake people I interview are making these days: They don't send thank you notes.
MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY
—Overeager application letter goes viral
—4 unusual items to put on your CV
—7 things never to do in job interviews
If I don't get a thank you note, I assume the person doesn't want the job, is disorganized, and I'll likely forget about them.
The thank you should say a few things:
- Thank you for meeting (or talking) with me.
- I really want this job.
- Quick plug about why I'm perfect for it.
Since my post went up, I've gotten scores of emails asking the same question: Should I send a handwritten or electronic thank you note?
While it varies depending on the industry, I'd strongly suggest going with the email. Here's why:
Dangers of the handwritten thank you:
- There's a delay. I'm a firm believer in following up with a thank you note less than 24 hours after the interview, while you're still fresh in the interviewer's mind.
- The letter might never get to your interviewer. It could get lost in the mail, the secretary could throw it out, it could end up in a pile of envelopes that don't get opened for months.
- It feels old. It's 2012. Sending a handwritten note just feels ancient to me. Especially if you're up for a job in the Internet industry. Be current.
- The chances of the interviewer writing back to you are less. The letter feels more final.
Why the email thank you works:
- You can send it the day of your interview to show just how eager you are.
- You know it will at least find its way into the interviewer's inbox. Whether they read it or not is a different story.
- If the interviewer ever searches for your name in their email, the note will pop up and remind them that you followed up and really want the job.
- You can easily tailor it to the vibe of the interview. It can be as casual or as formal as you decide. Handwritten notes always feel too formal to me.
- The interviewer might write back to you. The email will be open on their computer, and there's a bigger chance they'll respond, or ask you a follow-up question, or continue the conversation.
More From Business Insider