How To

5 ways your interview thank you email could cost you the job

Don’t let a shoddy follow-up ruin your chances of landing the job. Make sure you nail it with an interview thank you email.

However, not every thank you message will help your candidacy. In fact, when done incorrectly, your interview thank you email can cause more harm than good. Below are five ways your interview follow-up could lose you the job offer.

1) It’s riddled with mistakes.

When you’re competing with a vast candidate pool for a position, the smallest error can be used to eliminate you from the pile. These days, we’ve grown accustomed to using short-hand for texts and tweets, and have become all too reliant on spell-check. It’s very easy to overlook the little mistakes, such as using “higher” when you really meant to say “hire.” Don’t let these little details derail your candidacy.

Carefully proofread your interview thank you email. Then read it again. Then have a friend proofread it. Make sure everything is spelled properly (including the interviewer’s name and title), and correct all typos before hitting “send.”

2) The message is generic.

Sending a general thank you note to all of your interviewers is just as bad as not sending any thank-you message at all. Remember, the goal of a thank-you note is to help differentiate yourself from the other candidates by demonstrating your genuine passion for the position and reminding the interviewer of your unique qualifications. It’s really difficult to do that if you’re not personalizing your messages.

Take notes during each interview so that you can tailor every follow-up you send afterwards. Make sure your message is different for each interviewer. According to The Muse’s Lily Zhang, many companies request that thank-you notes get forwarded to HR so they can be attached to a candidate’s file. Imagine how they’d react when they realize that all of your interviewers received the exact same message!

Don’t be afraid to jot down little details you learned about the interviewer, such as a shared passion or an upcoming trip – you can use this information in your follow-up to demonstrate your attention to detail and make your message more memorable.

3) It gets too personal.

There’s a fine line between personalizing your message and coming off as inappropriate. No matter how comfortable you felt during the interview, it’s important that your note remains professional. Steer clear of using sarcasm and profanity in your note. Remember, you haven’t received a job offer yet. Play it safe.

4) You didn’t send it right away.

In the job search, timing is everything. The last thing you want to do is send your note out late and damage the professional image you so carefully presented during the interview.

Send your thank you messages to each interviewer within 24 hours of the meeting. Make sure to collect business cards or write down the proper spelling of interviewers’ names and email addresses during the interview process  to ensure a timely and accurate follow-up.

5) The note is two pages long.

Keep your interview thank you email succinct. If you’re second-guessing the length of your message, ask yourself, “Would this message fit in a standard thank-you card I’d buy at a stationery store?” If the answer is no, reevaluate your note.

The goal of your note is to highlight main points from your conversation, address any concerns the interviewer expressed about your candidacy, and reiterate your interest in the role. If you forgot to mention an important detail during the interview, by all means, include it in your follow-up; just don’t waste precious space rehashing your entire resume again.

A carefully crafted interview thank you email creates an opportunity to reconnect with employers, build a relationship with interviewers, and keep your candidacy top of mind. Avoid these mistakes when writing your next interview thank you email and you’ll be one step closer to the coveted job offer.

Amanda Augustine

Amanda Augustine Amanda Augustine is a well-recognized expert in all things related to career advancement: from identifying your dream job, to developing your professional brand, to acing your next interview. She is a job search and career consultant with a passion for helping people find the find the right job, sooner. Learn more at JobSearchAmanda.com