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Business etiquette: Sending thank-you notes after the interview

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in Business Etiquette,Workplace Communication,Your Office Coach

Question:  “I know that applicants should send a thank-you note after a job interview, so I normally fax a letter within one or two days. However, I have some questions about the process. When I’m interviewed by several people, should I include all the names on one letter or send an individual note to each person?  If I send separate letters, can they all have the same wording or should each one be different? Finally, if interviewers fail to give me a business card, what do I do if I’m not sure how to spell their names?” -- Puzzled

Marie’s Answer: Thank-you notes provide one more chance to make a good impression, so it’s smart to strategize the process. Here are a few suggestions:

•    First, stop using the fax. Fax copies look blurry and impersonal, so take the extra time to put your notes in the mail. Even in our high-tech world, a polished and professional letter will have the greatest impact.

•    Send each interviewer a separate note.  It’s OK to use similar wording, but you should include specific comments about each interview.

•    Check the company web site to find an executive’s name. For lower-level managers, call the main number and say that you’re addressing a letter. There's no need to explain that you’re a job applicant. Make sure you get the correct spelling.

•    Present your own business card and ask for one in return, in future interviews. All job-seekers should have professionally printed cards with their name and contact information.

Although this may sound like a lot of work, applicants who view their quest for employment as a full-time job are most likely to be successful. To get your interviews off to a strong start, see How to Make a Good First Impression.

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