Thank You Notes: Handwritten or Emailed?

Clients often ask me if they should send a handwritten thank you or an emailed one. My response has always been that my preference is to send a handwritten one, but it’s important to just send a thank you … not every job candidate does, and doing so will set them apart.

Because I’m asked this question so often, I decided to include it on my survey of area hiring managers. Here were the results:

  • Either: 51%
  • Handwritten: 31%
  • Emailed: 18%

A few of the respondents left comments:

  • Thank you notes are critically important
  • Sending one sets them apart
  • It’s just nice getting one … have received only one over the past year
  • It is very nice and sets them apart from other candidates
  • Email or note are good; handwritten note stands out
  • Electronic is always best, because it is easier to share with others
  • Both are nice steps that show interest after hearing more details about the company and the position

So, if you’re still trying to decide if you should send a handwritten thank you or an emailed one, here are a couple things you may want to consider. A handwritten thank you is a little more personal and takes more effort on your part (you have to buy the thank you card, write on it, look up the address, put a stamp on it, and mail it). However, if you don’t have time (or don’t have nice handwriting), an emailed thank you is perfectly fine … the main thing is, just make sure to send one. Doing so will set yourself apart from the competition.

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