No, Thank You cards are not a dead art
This post explores thank you cards and provides an inside case study of why they are impactful.
During my last year as a recruiter, I interviewed hundreds of candidates. While I remember certain names and faces and I can visualize company names and schools on resumes, only a few candidates truly stand out.
There was one candidate named Kyle who really left a positive impression across the entire interview panel. On our rating scale of 5, he received 5’s across the board – the highest affirmation that he was a rockstar. Not only was he engaged, poised, and prepared, he left a lasting impression even after the interviews.
As the interview panel was stepping into the meeting to discuss which team he should join, every interviewer came walking into the conference room with the same sized envelope. It turns out, everyone was impressed he had sent a thank you card in the mail which had just arrived earlier that morning. Each card had a unique line that made us reflect back on our individual conversations with him.
So what made Kyle’s action so special?
While Kyle wasn’t the first to send a thank you card, he was definitely one of the few (out of hundreds) of candidates. The handwritten thank you note is often much more memorable than the emailed one. While email is acceptable in this digital age, the effort behind a mailed thank you card goes the extra mile. If you think about it, emails get buried in our inbox of infinite megabytes. How many times do you see a desk decorated with a thank you card?
How do you make sending ‘Thank You’ cards a breeze?
Thank You cards are available in packs at places like Target, Amazon, and TJ Maxx. I’ve seen great deals for 48-packs for as low as $11. That’s less than a quarter for a card! A big ROI if you ask me.
When I was actively interviewing, I always carried at least 10 cards in my purse or car along with pre-stamped envelopes. As soon as I finished an interview, I’d head to a local coffeeshop and start writing out my cards, with a customized note while the conversation was still fresh. Once completed, sealed, and dropped in the mailbox, I wondered how something that seemed like a lot of effort could be so effortless!
What do I write in a ‘Thank You’ Note?
Since space is limited, you don’t want to write anything longer than a paragraph. Your 3-5 sentences should aim at:
1. Thanking the person for their time and reiterating what role you are interested in
2. Add a special line that speaks about your interest in their team, mission, etc.
3. Let them know you are very interested and look forward to hearing next steps.
5. Add a P.S. – An easy way to include something you talked about off subject.
Here’s an example:
Thank you very much for meeting with me to explore the Project Manager role at HBO. I am impressed at how closely each department works together and am excited at the prospect of working on projects that reach millions of fans. After speaking to the team, I know this would be an excellent cultural match and I hope to hear about next steps.
P.S. – I can’t wait to try Blue Bird Coffee – thanks for the local recommendation!
While Kyle already received an offer before the team received the cards, it made hiring managers ‘fight’ for him to be on their teams. I’ve also seen it help push candidates that were ‘on the hiring fence’.
Have you been sending out Thank You cards? Why or why not?
My good friend Jessica just started her Etsy shop, Le Lavande Lapin, where she makes
watercolor illustrations of motivational quotes, posters, and yep, you guessed it, thank you cards. The illustrations you see in this post can be purchased directly through her Etsy shop!