Thanks, but no thanks: 68 percent of hiring managers say ungrateful job seekers are jeopardizing their own candidacy.

A recent survey conducted by TopResume confirmed that a job candidate’s thank-you note (or lack thereof) impacts that person’s chances of landing the job. When asked, “After interviewing a candidate, does receiving a thank-you email/note impact your decision-making process?” 68 percent of hiring managers and recruiters replied that yes, it matters. In fact, nearly one in five interviewers have completely dismissed a candidate because they didn’t receive a thank-you email or note after an interview.

However, not all job seekers are heeding this warning. Almost one-third of all professionals surveyed do not send a thank-you email or note after every interview, and a whopping 7 percent say they never send thank-you notes after an interview.

If you’re not sending a proper post-interview thank-you note, you’re hurting your chances of landing the job.

If you’re not sending a proper post-interview thank-you note, you’re hurting your chances of landing the job.

Don’t overlook this simple, yet important part of the interview process. Use the tips below to send an interview thank-you note that not only follows up on your candidacy but also sets you apart from the competition and takes you one step closer to receiving the job offer.

When giving thanks, timing matters.

Send your interview follow-up messages within 24 hours of the interview. Also, ask each of your interviewers for a business card or confirm the spelling of the person’s name and his or her email address before leaving the building. If you realize you forgot to do this, reach out to your main point of contact at the company right away and ask for the information so you can send a proper thank-you note.

Send a thank-you note to every interviewer.

If you met with multiple people during your interview at the company, be prepared to write multiple thank-you notes afterward. Avoid sending a generic “thank you” to each person, as some companies will request that all thank-you messages get forwarded to HR so they can be attached to your file. The last thing you want is for your interviewers to compare thank-you notes and realize you sent a generic template to everyone. If you’re going to take the time to send interview thank-you messages, make them count.

Customize each interview follow-up with little details.

Send a tailored message to each interviewer that demonstrates your genuine interest in the job opportunity and reiterates of your qualifications.  While you’re in the interview, take note of what the person likes most about your experience so you can highlight those selling points in your follow-up message.

Also, use the little details you learned about the interviewer — such as a shared hobby or an upcoming trip — in your thank-you note to demonstrate your attention to detail and make your follow-up more memorable.

Use this opportunity to overcome objections.

If the interviewer expressed a concern with hiring you, address it head-on in your thank-you note. Explain that you can demonstrate what it takes. Also, restate how your skills and experience are directly tied to the hiring manager’s needs. If you forgot to bring up an important qualification during the actual interview, see if there’s a way to seamlessly work it into your post-interview follow-up.

Related: 4 Things You Need to Do After Every Interview

Proofread your interview thank you.

When you’re competing against other qualified candidates, the smallest mistake in your interview follow-up can be used to eliminate you from the running.  Don’t rely entirely on spell-check to proofread your note. Before you send your thank-you note, carefully reread your message. Then read it again, starting with the last sentence and working your way back up. Then ask someone you trust — ideally someone who majored in English or writes for a living – to look over it to ensure everything is grammatically correct and typo-free, including the name of the organization and your interviewer.

Consider the company culture before following up.

While email is the most common method for sending a post-interview thank you, there are certain cases where a snail mail thank-you note may win you brownie points with the hiring manager. For example, if you interviewed with a highly conservative institution that prides itself on tradition, consider sending a handwritten thank-you card in addition to your email. Not only will this cover your bases, but the handwritten note will arrive a day or two after your email, helping to grab the hiring manager’s attention once again.

Don’t write a novel.

Use your post-interview follow-up message to thank the interviewer for his or her time, highlight the main points of your conversation, address any concerns the interviewer expressed about your candidacy, and restate your interest in the position. Don’t regurgitate your entire resume – keep your message just long enough to cover the points mentioned above.

Need some more interview practice? Visit our sister brand, TopInterview, to see how one of our interview coaches can help you ace your next interview. 

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