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thank you notesInterview thank you notes are important, but a lot of people fail to take this basic step. While unlikely to make an employer totally reverse an opinion about you, when done well, thank-you notes can help you stand out from a crowd of applicants. Consider that a lot of employers interview numerous candidates, many of whom gave similar answers to a series of basic questions. If you want hiring managers to remember you favorably, write a knockout thank-you note; it may make a difference.

Interview thank you notes

If your messages don’t go beyond the following trite and inappropriate phrases and sentiments, you’ll want to up your game to help your cause.

“Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position.”

If you really want to stand out, consider briefly referencing an off-handed comment the interviewer made, especially if you think it will help the person remember you favorably. For example, “Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position. Since you mentioned you are swamped with the XYZ project, it was so thoughtful of you to spend an hour with me. I hope you’ll agree, based on my qualifications and background in ABC, I could quickly and easily jump in to help your team achieve its next big goal.”

“I believe my qualifications are perfect for this job.”

Don’t write a note saying you’re qualified unless you can back it up with some specifics.

“I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.”

This is probably one of the worst things you can say in a thank-you note, as you effectively point out that you can’t manage your time well enough to get a basic project finished.

“Please enjoy this gift as a token of my appreciation.”

Do not expect a grand gesture, such as sending flowers or cookies, will help an employer decide to hire you.

“I’m calling to follow up.”

It’s OK to call to follow up via phone after a certain time frame. (Hopefully, a time period you determined before you left the interview.) However, a phone call is not an appropriate or effective way to thank the interviewer. If anything, it could cause you to receive negative attention, as it may annoy him or her.

A thank you note is your chance to stand out; make sure the employer’s impression of you after reading your message is positive and you’ll have a much better chance to move on in the process.

Read the rest on my U.S. News & World Report column.

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photo by maher berro

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  • Great tips. To stem from your first point, it’s always a good idea to link an occurrence or anecdote that happened in the interview in your thank you note. After all, many employers go through tons of candidates. By connecting a specific event in your note, you’ll continue to stay memorable, which helps the interviewer to make their final decision.