Receiving a thank you card after a job interview is a rare thing these days. I would say about one in every 100 candidates I speak with will send one. When I do receive a handwritten note, it gets my attention.
I don’t want to downplay the importance of a thank you email. That is a must. But a thank you card is certainly a nice complement, and it could give you an edge over other applicants.
Here are four reasons to consider snail mail in addition to a thank you email after a job interview:
1. Add a Human Touch
A handwritten thank you card adds a human element versus a robotic one – email (tweet this). I want someone who will relate to me and make me feel like a human being. I want to like you. Letters have more sincerity. It’s something we physically have to do – write the note, stamp and address the envelope, drop the card in the mail. There’s a little more effort in it. It makes me feel like you want the job more.
2. Stand Out Among Applicants
It’s common to send a thank you email after a job interview. It’s actually now almost become expected from a recruiter’s perspective. You’re not separating yourself anymore with an email (even though they are a must-send). A thank you card is an extra touch.
A simple “thank you” on the front of the card is nice but also consider cards that have paintings or decorative elements, especially ones that might speak to the recruiter’s interests. They’re more likely to keep the card that way, and you’re more likely to remain top of mind. An email is something they can delete.
3. Forge a Stronger Connection
Do you share an interest with the recruiter or manager? Perhaps you went to the same college or you are both from the same fraternity or sorority. Do you have a professional connection in common? Maybe you’re in the same networking groups or share a contact on LinkedIn. Mention that in your card.
Did you notice that the company recently received an award or reached a milestone? Add in a congratulations to show you are paying attention to what the company is doing.
When you write a thank you email, keep it more focused on the job opportunity and what you can bring to the table. A handwritten card offers a chance to turn the attention more to the person. You can show them who you are a bit, but keep it professional. Talk about what you’ve enjoyed about the opportunity to interview and why you’re excited about the position. Try to build a rapport.
4. Deliver Another Follow-Up Reminder
Thank you emails are expected within 24 hours of a job interview. Drop a thank you card in the mail within a day of the interview as well, and it will serve as the perfect opportunity to re-gain a busy recruiter’s attention days later.
TIP: There is at least one risk in sending a handwritten thank you card: grammatical errors. Mistakes look sloppy and could end up costing you the job. Be sure to review the card closely and have someone else proofread it as well before you drop it in the mail.
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This is a card I received from a student after a mock interview. What made me hang onto it? It has to do with the flattery of “you took the time to invest in my future…” It gets me jazzed up when I think I am making a difference, no matter how big or small it may be.
Perficient Talent Acquisition Specialist Scott Albert has 15 years of experience in career development, corporate recruiting and public speaking. He frequently contributes career advice to the Life at Perficient blog. Past articles have included Why High-Value Questions are Critical in a Job Interview and Why Interviewing is Like Playing a Game of Baseball.
Connect with Scott on LinkedIn here. Follow him on Twitter at
@coachyourcareer. For more career advice from Scott, visit his Coach Your Career website.