Though paper is our specialty, thoughtfully connecting people is our passion, and in the case of job hunting a prompt email follow-up is the essential step one. These should be sent to your interviewer – and anyone else involved in the interview process – the very same day as your meeting. (Pro tip if you’re reading this ahead of your interview: grabbing the business card of everyone you meet that day will ensure you know exactly how to connect with everyone.)
1. The email(s) should be brief: A sentence thanking so-and-so for taking the time out of his/her day to meet with you. Make yourself a noteworthy candidate by including a detail or two that jogs his/her memory about the conversation (chances are they are meeting several applicants that day). For example, a shared alma mater, or a shared affinity for chocolate croissants (“they make them best at that little coffee shop on 42nd“).
2. Address any follow-up requests: If your interviewer assigned a project (ideas, a writing sample, etc.), indicate in your day-of email that he/she can expect to have it by the deadline provided. Hint: Bonus points for providing it earlier.
3. Keep it professional…and proofread: Be sure to start your email with a proper greeting (i.e. Dear Ms. Evans) and end with a proper closing (i.e. All the Best, Jerome). Remember that this is an email to a potential employer, not a friend — proper spelling and grammar are an absolute must so be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread. A second pair of eyes is always a good thing, so it wouldn’t hurt to have a friend or family member look it over
before you hit ‘send.’
4. Best to steer clear of these. Don’t:
• Use a colorful or ‘alternative’ font. Black Times New Roman isn’t just professional, it’s timeless.
Step Two: The Handwritten Thank You Note
You’ve sent your follow-up email(s), which means it’s time for the ultimate power play: The Thank You Note. The Thank You Note — which you can write on professional-looking boxed stationery or, for bonus points, personalized stationery — should be sent no more than a day or two after the interview, and is much like writing one for any other occasion. The bones are the same, with a few slight differences. This is your chance to expand on your email with a few more thoughtful details to really bring your message home. Not to mention, the tactile format packs the ultimate punch because it’s a rare occurrence in this digital age. You’re all the more likely to stand out when you’re the only one sending a handwritten “thank you.”
1. Keep it professional: Just as you did in your follow-up email, begin your Thank You Note with a proper greeting (i.e. Dear Mr. Barnes). End with a professional closing, like ‘Best Regards’ or ‘All the Best’. In the same format as above, be sure to send an individualized note to every person you interviewed with, as well as anyone who helped schedule it, such as a Human Resources Manager or Executive Assistant.
2. Always begin with a sincere expression of gratitude. First and foremost thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
3. Incorporate personal connection. This not only helps the interviewer remember who you are (remember, he/she may have had 10 interviews that day), but also creates a deeper connection between the two of you. If you spent a moment talking about the beaches of Costa Rica or how you both have twin daughters, it’s worth mentioning again.
4. Elaborate on highlights of each specific interview. This is the heart of the note: it shows them you were paying attention and that the conversation was meaningful to you. For example: What inspired you to apply, why you can see yourself working there, or a particular fact or figure that impressed you during the interview. If an employer is investing in you, they want to know that you are just as invested in them. Outlining your personal passion for the position not only conveys that you have a predisposed and deep-rooted devotion to the company, it solidifies your genuine, honest enthusiasm. And something a potential employer can’t resist? Someone that’s eager, energetic, and maintains an ardent, invested interest in the job.
5. And finally: closure. End with wishes of luck in his/her search as well as your own desired outcome. We’re firm believers that a little “thank you” goes a long way. For a highlight of our outline, here’s a quick example to get you started. Best of luck with your next adventure!
Dear Ms. Stevens,
It was such a pleasure meeting you this afternoon, thank you so much for your time. I enjoyed learning more about ABC Design’s current business and discussing the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. On a personaI note I was delighted to hear your passion for the new column in the Times rivals mine! I was truly excited by the opportunities you outlined for the next Design Director – from enhancing the design process, to working on new collections. The role and responsibilities are so well aligned with my experience and capabilities, which I believe would enable me to hit the ground running. Beyond my interest in the role itself, I would be thrilled to have the chance to work for a company I have long admired.
I look forward to the possibility of talking further in the near future and wish you the best of luck with the rest of your search.