But, because you can’t see the hiring manager’s reaction when she opens your email—or letter, or both—you might wonder if it really matters. Or is this another formality that everyone else has dropped besides you?
Believe it or not, sometimes it makes all the difference. Here a few instances when sending a thank you note could shift the balance in your favor:
1. When You’re Neck and Neck With Another Candidate
Sometimes there’s a candidate who clearly sticks out from the pack. But other times, it’s a tight race. Maybe two candidates have very similar qualifications. Or, maybe they have a totally different set of experiences, impressing the interviewer for different reasons, and leaving her baffled as to who would be the better choice.
Now, let’s say one candidate sends a note and the other doesn’t. Or maybe, one sends a great follow-up and the other sends one that is one-line, a week late, or too aggressive (all common faux pas). Well, in the first instance, the sender pulls ahead of the other applicant because she demonstrates she’s willing to follow the rules—even when other people might find them perfunctory. And in the second scenario, the person with the killer letter will also come out on top, because he demonstrated that he could be more thoughtful, prompt, and diplomatic than his competition.