Thank-You Notes Can Tip the Scale in Job Candidates’ Favour, Yet Few Write Them

Survey Shows Manners Matter in Job Search

Toronto, ON — With the rise of flextime, casual dress codes and work-from-anywhere technology, most businesses are not nearly as traditional as they used to be. Yet the thank-you note remains a job-search mainstay, suggests a new survey from staffing firm Accountemps.

Forty-two per cent of human resources (HR) managers said they consider candidates’ thank-you messages when deciding who to hire. The bad news? On average, only 28 per cent of applicants bother to take this simple step.

HR managers were asked “When it comes to making a hiring decision, how helpful is it when a promising job candidate sends you a thank-you message following his or her job interview?” Their responses*:

Very helpful

2%

Somewhat helpful

40%

Not very helpful

17%

Not helpful at all

38%

Don’t know

2%

Total

99%

*Total does not equal 100 per cent due to rounding.

When it comes to following up after an interview, HR managers say the most appropriate methods are email (87 per cent) and by phone (86 per cent).

View an infographic of the survey findings.

“Sending a message of gratitude after an interview allows job seekers the opportunity to not only reiterate their enthusiasm for the position, but also underscore why they’re the right fit for the role,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “A quick note can go a long way in helping candidates leave a positive and memorable impression on hiring managers.”

Accountemps provides the following do’s and don’ts for giving thanks:

  1. Do add value. Instead of writing a generic note, customize the message by mentioning a skill that wasn’t brought up during the interview or expound on a topic that was discussed.
  2. Don’t delay. Send a thank-you note within 24 hours. Some employers make hiring decisions shortly after the round of interviews is complete, and you don’t want to risk sending your note after the window has closed.
  3. Do proofread. Sending a thank-you message can backfire if you go about it the wrong way. Typos and grammatical mistakes may come across as a lack of attention to detail. Take the time to review, revise and refine your thank-you note.
  4. Don’t be pushy. If you don’t hear from the employer within a week of the interview, it’s appropriate to follow up with a phone call or another email. But do so in moderation. Persistence is laudable, while pestering can get you removed from the short list.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has 325 offices worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at roberthalf.ca/en/work-with-us/our-services/accountemps. Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]

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