Business Thank you Cards

By: Kathy Hildebrand

Have you ever thought of sending a thank you note following an interview? It may not seem like an obvious time to send one, but do it anyway.

Make sure to get a business card from the person who interviews you. If you cannot or do not, at least write down the name of the interviewer before you go to the interview. Also, make a mental note of his or her name as you introduce yourself at the start of the interview. And, keep a record of the address of the establishment you visited. If it is a branch office of a larger company, use the branch address, not the corporate headquarters.

Your thank you note is meant to be just that -- a note. Don't write a novel. You know how annoying it is to be held up on the phone by someone wanting your business, who is so verbose and long-winded it makes you want to just hang up, let alone deal with them? Well, don't do that in note form, either. Keep it short and to the point.

What you want to accomplish with your note is first and foremost, that you are writing a note at all. Most applicants -- and people in general -- simply do not bother with thank you cards. Corporate interviewers and other human resources personnel are not expecting to receive them, so when one arrives, it will stand out. That's also true of college interviewers, parents interviewing potential nannies, and homeowners reviewing possible contractors to remodel their houses. So, the fact that you are bothering to write and send one is even more important than what it says. Much like one decides within a few short seconds whether or not they've found "the" house they want to buy, so a card has made an impression within a few seconds of falling into the recipient's hands.

As far as content of the note, it helps to mention something special about the interviewer, the company, or the interview itself. This shows the recipient that you are thoughtful and pay attention. It also demonstrates some of your expertise in your field. Such as: "Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the teaching position at your preschool. Your facility is one of the best I have seen. The developmental appropriateness of your curriculum is truly commendable, and I hope to join the excellent staff in continuing to make it that way."

See? Just a few sentences. Add another thank you in the closing, and remember to add a stamp. So few things are sent by snail mail these days, you might barely even keep stamps around! Be prompt, as well. The interview and its results are a top priority for you, not an afterthought. The prompt thank you card is evidence of this to those who receive it.

Don't underestimate the importance of politeness and gratitude in business. Thank you cards may seem old-fashioned, especially in this age of emails and cell phones and blackberries, but therein lies their charm. Manners never go out of style!

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