In today’s job market, getting an interview – making it past the initial resume culling process – is an achievement in itself.  But where, in the past, making the cut would lead to a face-to-face interview, hiring managers often have too many qualified candidates for most positions.  As a result, candidates are more and more likely to get a phone screen or Skype interview first.

Whatever the type of interview you have, follow-up is the most important thing if you want to keep your name at the top of the “maybe” list.   It is the only way to be noticed when hiring managers are overrun, with so many people to consider.

Here are some tips on what to do AFTER you talk to that hiring manager:

  • An email thank you is appropriate for a phone interview or an in-person interview with a very quick turnaround time on a decision.  An email thank you also gives you the opportunity to include a relevant link to a story or article that builds upon what you discussed in your interview–a great way to highlight your attention to detail and interest in both the company and the role.
  • A handwritten thank you is essential after an in-person interview.   Snail mail may seem dated, but the time it takes to write a note is very much appreciated and remembered.  The type of note you select can also demonstrate a bit of your personality as well.
  • Always have your References ready, but don’t provide them unless and until they are requested.  A thank you note or email is usually NOT the best place for relaying this information.

I’m willing to bet Mom was right about a lot of things – but with regards to thank you notes – she couldn’t be more on track!  To stand out in the crowd of job seekers, write those thank you notes!

Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative