Job interview dos and don’ts: The thank-you note

Recent grad? Changing careers? It might be a good time to refresh on sending thank-you notes. Here are five pointers.

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A thank-you note is an opportunity to keep yourself top of mind in a competitive field. Whether you’re a new graduate or simply changing careers, it might not hurt to go back to the basics. Here are some pointers:

Don’t: Show off your chicken scratch. If your penmanship looks like it wouldn’t pass third-grade standards (you know who you are), consider a thoughtful thank-you email instead. A poorly written thank-you will hurt you more than help.

Don’t: Mess up the name of the hiring manager or interviewer. If the interviewer introduces herself as Jane, do not call her Dr. Smith. Similarly, avoid shortening the person’s name unless he or she does it first. I must look confused every time someone calls me Andy, but for good reason—it’s not my name.

Do: Be prompt. Following up within two days is typically an appropriate time frame, but be wary of following up too soon. A follow-up email minutes after the interview demonstrates that the candidate may not have given the message much thought.

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