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The ‘Thank You’ note tends to take a back seat to all the work we put into resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches and interview techniques. However, I would argue, that it is just as important and a great way to make a lasting impression on a future employer and/or connection. Here are 5 tips to help you stand out:

1.) When? Always! If you meet with someone for an informational interview – send a thank you note. If you have a phone interview – send a thank you note. If you have an in-person interview with 4 different people – send four separate thank you notes. See where I am going here? If someone takes time out of their day to chat with you in a way that is beneficial to you and/or your career, show your appreciation.

2.) How quickly? Within 24 hours of your meeting. Following up quickly allows you to stay fresh in a persons’ mind and will help you leave a lasting impression. Even though you should send the note within 24 hours, be conscious of the time you send the email, sending something at 2 am could reflect poorly on your time management and/or ability to fit within a business’ operating hours.

3.) Email vs. Hand Written? In this day and age, email is your best bet due to timing (see the 24-hour rule above). However, if you have the time and you are extremely passionate about a position and/or thankful for a connection, you can always follow it up with a handwritten note too (but make sure the two notes are different).

4.) What do I say? The note should be an extension of your meeting/interview. Some key elements include appreciation for the person’s time and/or expertise, your continued interest in the position/company/field, something that stood out about your conversation, and why you think you would be a good fit for the position and/or field based on the conversation. Here is a good article with some sample interview thank you notes.

5.) How do I make the note genuine?: You can do this by taking notes during your meeting or interview and pulling from these when crafting the message. Additionally, ask for people’s cards or contact information, if that doesn’t seem appropriate, make sure you write down the names of the people you meet so you can reference them later. Taking the time to thank each person you meet with individually and including details that pertain to something that person said specifically will make you stand out!

Now get out there and start thanking…but if you still have questions don’t hesitate to make a meeting with your Career Counselor on Handshake.