10 Mistakes to Avoid on a Thank-You Email

Source: money.usnews.com

You aced your job interview and you're already envisioning yourself settling into your desk on your first day of work. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, remember to compose a thank-you note acknowledging your appreciation for the opportunity to interview.


Among the job interview mistakes to avoid, neglecting your thank-you note might seem minor. But it's the last chance you have to make a good impression.


According to Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and managing partner at Langerud & Associates, "Not sending a thank you says, 'I just don't care.'"


If you want to seal the deal with a killer thank you, then avoid the following behaviors.


1. Don't use the wrong tone. It's a mistake to "misread the context" of the interaction you had and "mismatch the tone of the organization and the interviewer" with your thank-you note, says Bill Cole, chief executive of William B. Cole Consultants.


That means, if the interview itself was casual and friendly, don't make your note too formal. If the interview was quite serious, don't make the note too casual.


Regardless of the tone of the interview, don't start your note with "Hey," says Langerud: "Any thank you that starts with 'Hey ...' is doomed."


2. Don't apologize for a mistake. That will make you look like you lack confidence, Cole says. There's no need to remind the interviewer of an error you made while answering an interview question.


3. Don't ask about salary and benefits. Your thank-you note is an opportunity to express gratitude, not a vehicle to glean information.


4. Don't sound desperate. "You can't beg," Cole says. Interviewers may appreciate hearing how excited you are about the position, but "they don't want people getting on their knees. It's a real fine line."


5. Don't let more than a day pass. Your thank-you email should be in your "sent" box no later than 24 hours after an interview – no exceptions. The bottom line is that you should follow up ASAP to reiterate your interest while you're still fresh in the interviewers' minds.


The speed at which most hiring happens these days means it's often wiser to send a speedy email than a traditional mailed letter, says Kelly Marinelli, principal people strategy consultant at Solve HR.


6. Don't use a formulaic template. The more personalized the better. The best way to do this is to "write about one specific thing from the interview that actually meant something to you or made you think," Langerud says. Then, remind them of a relevant skill that makes you a perfect fit – and, of course, thank them for their time. The more specific you are, the faster you'll jog their memory.


This means you should neither write your thank-you note in advance nor hand it to the office receptionist on your way out the door immediately following the interview.


7. Don't address multiple people in the same note. Sending one email to all of your interviewers might be efficient for you – but employers see it as dull and impersonal. In fact, "multiple interviewers in the same company will often compare notes, so be sure they are customized," says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University.


8. Don't write an essay. Your note should only be a few sentences at a maximum. Remember, at this point, "There is no need to try and convince them that you are great," Langerud says.


9. Don't spell names incorrectly. To prevent this, ask for business cards at the end of your interview or scour LinkedIn or the company website to double-check names. If all else fails, Langerud suggests you call and ask.


10. Don't send a gift. This may make you look desperate and also make the hiring manager uncomfortable. Stacy Pursell, founder and president of the executive recruiting firm The Pursell Group, says one of her candidates unintentionally offended a hiring manager by sending him a plant after the interview.