We’ve been wondering: In our added agenda world, accept acknowledgment notes—once a post-interview mainstay—gone the way of encyclopedias and the Yellow Pages?
On one hand, a handwritten agenda may arresting to your accuser that you’re austere about the position and went the added mile with a claimed touch.
But what if it arrives too late—or the hiring administrator finds it outdated?
We asked bristles bodies with austere career chops—and apparent the acknowledgment isn’t so simple: While some professions accept absolutely transitioned into the agenda branch of emailed follow-ups, handwritten addendum are still animate and able-bodied in others.
Curious which affected your industry avalanche into? Here’s what recruiting, amenities and HR professionals had to say on the matter.
Kathy Harris: “The handwritten acknowledgment agenda has gone the way of the horse and carriage.”
Managing Administrator at Harris Allied, an controlling chase abutting specializing in the technology industry
If you’re interviewing for a high-paced tech job, Harris warns adjoin sending a “throwback” card. “I’ve been alive in this industry for 16 years and haven’t apparent a distinct handwritten note,” she says. “Tech bodies embrace email; it’s allotment of the protocol. If you accelerate a card, you accident actualization irrelevant.”
Plus, the backward clip of mail could amount you the job: “The turnaround time is quick abundant that by the time you address the card, bead it in the mailbox and it arrives a few canicule later, the administrator has acceptable already fabricated a hiring decision,” Harris says.
But alike admitting you can bung the notepad, don’t belittle the accent of afterward up. According to Harris, if a hiring accommodation comes bottomward to two according candidates, a able acknowledgment email can be the angled point. “A well-written and anxious email demonstrates your adeptness to chase through and pay attention, and reinforces your absorption in the position,” Harris says.
She suggests emailing anybody who was allotment of your annual action aural one business day. (Gather business cards during the annual so you accept their acquaintance information.) And remember: “It shouldn’t be boiler plate,” Harris stresses. “It should complete like your 18-carat articulation and reflect your claimed experience.”
Dana Hagenbuch: “A handwritten agenda shows you’re a cultural fit for a nonprofit organization.”
Vice admiral of Commongood Careers, a nonprofit recruiting firm
In the nonprofit sector, acknowledgment cards are decidedly not on the endangered breed list. “Ultimately, it’s added about the agreeable than how it’s delivered, but handwritten addendum do crave added effort, which is consistently valued,” Hagenbuch says.
When you’re applying for any job, it’s key to appearance not alone that your abilities are in band with the company’s needs, but additionally that your personality is a acceptable match. Because nonprofits are generally focused on allowance others and actuality team-oriented, a agenda drives that point home: “It communicates that you affliction about relationships, about authoritative addition feel their time was valued,” Hagenbuch says.
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As you ability your note, she suggests arch with a band that emphasizes how you enjoyed affair anybody and acquirements what the aggregation is all about (“team” is a able chat in this sector), again burrow into what interests you about the organization’s mission and why you appetite to assignment for them. (Your agenda should be about bristles sentences long—and alone one of them should blow on your fit for the role.)
Presumably, your abilities and acquaintance should accept appear out through your interview, résumé and awning letter. “At this point, you don’t charge to advertise yourself anymore,” Hagenbuch says. “Your ambition should be to break top-of-mind with the hiring administrator and leave a abundant impression.”
She additionally stresses the accent of autograph a separate, alone agenda to anybody you met during the annual process—though she says it’s accomplished to address a agenda to alone the hiring administrator and email the others.
Oh, and don’t anguish about a agenda not accession in time; according to Hagenbuch, it’s actual attenuate that a nonprofit makes a quick hire.
Bonnie Zaben: “Your access to the acknowledgment agenda should reflect the aggregation you interviewed with.”
C.O.O. of AC Lion, a agenda media recruiting firm
Although a handwritten agenda is far from accepted in the agenda media world, it can accord a appellant an bend in assertive situations: “Employers appetite to see that you’re activity to be a acceptable fit for the company, so you accept to apprehend the person,” Zaben says.
“For example, if you’re autograph to addition from an earlier generation, I would accelerate a agenda because it’s traditional. On the added hand, if you airing into the manager’s appointment and there’s not a allotment of cardboard for afar around, you’d bigger stick to email,” she says.
If you’re activity the agenda route, blazon out your bulletin afore putting it on cardboard so you can adapt your thoughts and run it through the spell check. “Don’t cantankerous words out, and if your autography is atrocious, ask addition abroad to address it for you,” she urges.
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Whichever average you choose, the meat of the bulletin should be specific to the job, so chase up on article you discussed.
Some ideas: Elaborate on an absorbing asset from the annual (“The adventure you told me about how you started the aggregation was absorbing …”), amphitheater aback to a catechism that you didn’t abundantly acknowledgment in the moment, or—for emails—include a articulation or adapter to a accordant activity you formed on (“I was cerebration about our conversation, and it occurred to me that it ability be accessible for you to see how I approached article agnate …”).
Again, customization is key: Hiring managers can aroma a arrangement a mile away. “I already had a appealing acceptable annual with an applicant, but in her acknowledgment note, she mentioned the amiss aggregation name,” remembers Zaben. “I laughed and didn’t booty it any further.”
Barbara Pachter: “A acknowledgment agenda isn’t outmoded, but it may be too late.”
Etiquette able and columnist of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette”
Pachter generally tells this story: An HR administrator she knows interviewed four bodies for a position on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, she accustomed acknowledgment emails from three of the applicants. On Friday, she fabricated her decision—and didn’t alike accede the appellant whom she hadn’t heard from, bold that she wasn’t motivated abundant for the job.
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Then on Monday morning, she accustomed the fourth acknowledgment agenda in the mail—one business day too late. “We are an email society, and hiring managers apprehend a quick response,” Pachter says.
So does that beggarly we should do abroad with the handwritten card? Well, not necessarily. “If you’re sure that timing won’t be an issue, again a agenda will accomplish you angle out,” Pachter says.
Pachter says this is abnormally accurate if you’re in a artistic field. For industries like autogenous design, appearance or clear design, a agenda can be a acute branding opportunity. (It’s a absorption of your faculty of style, so use a nice pen and affected stationery.)
And whether you’re autograph a agenda or an email, Pachter suggests sending the agenda aural 24 hours and including a able salutation. “Address the being application ‘Dear,’ and abutting with ‘Best regards’ or ‘Sincerely,’” she says.
Jessica Miller-Merrell: “In the appropriate setting, a acknowledgment agenda can accomplish the appropriate impression.”
HR able and architect of Blogging4Jobs.com
Miller-Merrell agrees that a handwritten agenda is no best the barometer (she accustomed alone about bristles of them over a two-and-a-half-year aeon in her aftermost accumulated HR role), yet she asserts that in assertive circumstances, it can accord you a leg up.
“These days, back aggregate is mass-produced, a one-of-a-kind agenda gets the hiring manager’s attention,” says Miller-Merrell.
But as we’ve learned, whether or not to accelerate one depends on the acreage you’re in.
For science-type jobs (engineering, tech), Miller-Merrell says to go for the absolute approach: email. “But if you assignment in a artistic industry, it’s important to advertise your different acumen of the world. A agenda accomplishes that added finer than email,” says Miller-Merrell.
She says a handwritten agenda can additionally tip the calibration in your favor if you’re applying for a “warm, down-covered job,” like teaching. For example, one of her acquaintances who landed a position at a university abstruse that she nudged out the added top appellant because the hiring administrator was affected by her 18-carat acknowledgment note. In such a traditional, claimed setting, it was a bigger fit than an email would accept been.
When authoritative the agenda vs. email acumen call, Miller-Merrell suggests demography into annual the affairs of your interviewer. “If he or she campaign frequently, email may be a safer option,” explains Miller-Merrell. “And if the being has an abettor who opens their mail, a agenda ability not get to them in a appropriate manner.”
But if you apperceive there’s abounding time afore the hiring accommodation will be made, addition advantage is to accelerate both an email and a card.
“This dual-pronged access has the advantage of befitting you at the top of the hiring manager’s mind,” explains Miller-Merrell. “Write a quick email afterwards the interview, reinforcing your action about the position. A brace of canicule later, accelerate a ardent agenda that gets into added specifics.”
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