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Hand Written “Thank You” vs. E-mail “Thank You”

“Who gives out thank you notes anymore,” my friend once said to me. I realized how strongly this topic is debated as I finished writing my thank you notes to all of the employers who I had just interviewed with. “Just write an e-mail,” my friend said. This brought on a deep conversation as to what is the better option. Hand written notes or e-mails? Which one will the employer like better? Which one will better my chances in getting the position?

Many people find themselves in the debate between how to express appreciation for the opportunity to have interviewed with a company. In today’s electronically connected and fast-paced world, most people believe that an e-mail is the best, most efficient way to say “thank you.” On the other hand, some believe the hand written thank you note is a more genuine and sincere approach.

Today e-mail seems to be the number one communication tool throughout society. People would rather e-mail or IM than call or walk down the hall to speak to one another. This has changed the way relationships are formed and how people interact. Additionally, most people now have Smartphones, which conveniently have the ability to directly import e-mails.

After researching the topic, reading articles, interviewing management teams and asking around to friends and family, I have come to a conclusion: Everyone has their own personal preference for sending “thank you” messages. I believe that choosing one or the other reflects partly on ones personality and beliefs. Each person I spoke with mentioned the pros and cons of each option. Some had strong feelings, and many said either or would do just fine. It is clear that different people prefer different methods, but there was an overall belief that as long as a person sends a “thank you” message either method is fine.

What everyone should take away from this debate is that, after interviewing, you should always send some sort of “thank you” message. The employer will most likely be pleased and view the message as an expression of interest in the opportunity. Whether this “thank you” is in the form of an e-mail or a hand-written letter, the interviewer will surely appreciate it. While it seems that there is no unilaterally correct method of thanking an interviewer, one thing is for sure: The debate over sending electronic or hand-written “thank you” will remain.

Some personal insight from the Kavaliro Team

“Send thank you notes or e-mails to your interviewers. Thank them for their time and express your excitement about the position and any important take-aways you had from the interview."

"Always follow up your interview with a quick e-mail thanking your potential employer for their time and expressing your excitement about the position. It may also be a good idea to send a personalized note card thanking the interviewer if you have a physical address for the business.”

“Hand written. Anyone can send an e-mail. It takes no time and can seem impersonal. To take the time to actually write and mail a thank you shows a more genuine appreciation than an e-mail. We could e-mail every client, contractor and internal employee a Happy Birthday or anniversary message, but we don't. We take the time to write one out and sign it to make it personal and let that person know they were worth our time.”

- Kaitlin O'Connell, Resource Manager at Kavaliro

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