A View from the Top: The value of thank you notes.


A recent student by the Society of Human Resource Management, the largest HR professional association in the US, showed that employers still expect thank you notes after the completion of an interview. The same research shows that younger employees are less likely to send thank you notes than more experienced employees. The same research highlights an important norm.

It is not that a thank you note makes you stand out in a positive way for future employment. It is that omitting to send a thank you note makes you stand out in a negative way. In other words, you never want to be “that guy or gal” who failed to be polite.

So, what should be included in a thank you note? Career Services has terrific examples that you can look at, and they can guide you in the development of such a tool. Just keep in mind several key concepts:

  1. Keep it brief.
  2. Connect back to key points of the conversation that you held with the individual.
  3. Make every thank you note personal. Expect that the contents will be passed on in some way, either orally (if you send a hand written note) or via forwarding (if you send an email). Personalize, don’t cut and paste.
  4. Make it quick. Seasoned interviewers expect to see a thank you note within the first few days after an interview. If you take a long time to send a thank you note, be aware that you’ll be compared, consciously or unconsciously, against any other candidate who makes an effort to send a thank you note quickly.

You are encouraged to send questions directly to me at e.walker@bentley.edu or to visit me at 310 Adamian. Or simply bookmark this blog which will occur on a regular basis. The final blog of the semester will occur on the week of 11/24 and will cover 2 key actions every student should take during the winter break.

By Elaine Walker
Elaine Walker Lecturer Elaine Walker