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What is the deal with thank-you notes?

A thank-you note is one of the most effective tools to get you to stand out in a pack of job candidates, especially if you all share similar qualifications. While writing a thank-you note only takes a few short moments, the people who really want to make a great impression actually take the time to write one after an interview.

In many cases, employers tend to favor those who mail in a hand-written thank-you card. For new college grads particularly, sending a thank-you note after an interview not only shows your dedication and interest for the job, it also illustrates a profound level of professionalism on your behalf.

And when I say take the time to write a thank-you note, that doesn’t translate to typing it out and sending it in an email.

In most cases, what happens when someone receives an email? They skim through it in seconds and with the simple click of a button, it’s placed in their delete folder, gone forever. Sure, send a short email right after, but always follow up with a hand-written card—no matter how ugly your handwriting may be.

In contrast, what generally happens when someone receives a note or card in the mail? They take the time to feel the material of the paper, to analyze the writing, to fully engage in the letter, and often times, it will end up on the person’s desk or bulletin board, not in some trashcan or paper shredder.

So, what’s the big deal with thank-you notes? For one, it’s the polite thing to do. Also, it’s an extremely effective device used to make one stand out from the crowd. Lastly, it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile in everything you do.