The simple but impactful way to set yourself apart.

You’ve just finished the interview, and you are excited about the opportunity. What can you do in the following 24 to 48 hours? Sending a thank you note is one of the easiest – yet most commonly overlooked – steps in the job search process. Taking the time to send a thank you after a job interview can set you apart from other candidates.

Thank you notes are short, simple, powerful tools that can help you land the job of your dreams. Take time to remind yourself who you talked to, what you talked about, and how you want to portray your interest in the job. Then send your objectives in a thank you email to ensure you are not overlooked. The waiting will be easier knowing you put your best foot forward and did everything you could to separate yourself from the pack.

Mary Ann Shanks is an executive recruiter with LBMC Staffing Solutions. She can be reached at

When should you send a thank you note? Sending a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview is critical and for many hiring managers is expected. With time being so valuable in today’s economy, sending an email thank you is going to be better received. If you wait too long to send any correspondence, the interviewer(s) may assume you are not interested and eliminate you from consideration.

Why should you send a thank you note? Thanking the hiring manager helps set you apart from other applicants. Taking the time to write a note shows you are genuinely interested in the role and gives you the chance to reiterate your skillset. It shows you are committed, professional and can write. Interviewers appreciate thank you notes and in fact, when they don’t receive a thank you, they assume the candidate is not interested in the opportunity. We’ve had candidates lose out on jobs for failing to send a thank you note – don’t make that mistake. 

What format should you use? The two primary vehicles for sending thank you notes are emails and handwritten notes. Sending a thank you note via email allows you to easily follow up in the preferred 24-hour timeframe while providing the recipient a simple, direct way to respond. A handwritten note adds a personal touch that many other applicants may not take the time to do but it loses the benefit of an email given that it takes longer to get to a recipient.

To whom should you send a thank you note? If you are meeting with multiple managers or executives, the best practice is to send an individual email to each manager or executive with whom you met. Often, your conversations with them will vary, so your follow-up points will be different. If you are meeting with team members, then it is perfectly acceptable to send a note to the manager and mention that you enjoyed meeting with the team members in the note.