As hard as it is for me to admit, even at age 32, my Mom was right! Saying please and thank you really does matter. Oh and… Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees. But… for this blog I wanted to focus on the saying Thank You part of my Mom’s advice.

Last year, I created a presentation on Thank You Notes and recorded an online workshop/webinar for Northwestern University. To listen to this webinar please go to:

During this presentation and even a year later I stand by my belief (and my Mom’s belief) that saying thank you is very important. Can you believe that people still do not send thank notes or emails after interviews? Believe it… it’s true! If you do not communicate to individuals that you have networked with, interviewed with, people who have been a reference or someone that has really helped you out, you are missing out on a chance to effectively communicate your genuine regard and appreciation. You are also missing out on telling a potential employer again why they should hire you.

In my own personal job search experience I have been told that my thank you note was what confirmed I was right for the job. After being hired during two separate job experiences in both cases either colleagues or supervisors let me know that because I wrote a thoughtful, relevant and interesting thank you email/note, they knew I was right for the job. In the case of one of the experiences, my then supervisor told me that she could tell from what I wrote and the style of what I wrote that I was right for the organization’s culture.

Employers really are looking for someone that can do the job, but also someone with the right personality and attitude. So when you are given the chance again to say thank you, don’t just say thank you. Tell them:

  • Why the interview or the networking experience, etc. was important to you
  • What that experience helped you learn about yourself
  • How much you appreciate what they have done for you
And if an email or handwritten note isn’t enough of a thank you, I recently thanked a long-time mentor of mine with cookies. We’ve also here at UCS had candidates send plants to say thank you. And I was speaking with a student who participated in a job shadowing program with an NU alum. This student sent the alum a thank you note but also a nice NU gift from the Norris Bookstore. 
If you have any questions about thank you etiquette please contact Northwestern University Career Services at 847-491-3700 or leave a comment here on this blog.