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The Importance of Thanks

The holidays are here again. Along with the turkey, stuffing, and loved ones, there’s more to consider. This season is a time of giving thanks. One of the topics I’m often asked to speak about is personal branding. And, part of your personal brand comes across in the way that you say thank you to others. After you interview for a new job, it’s always a good idea to say thanks. For the most part, I think we can all agree on this idea. But, the question is really – how do exactly do you do it? What’s the best way to say thank you, and what are you saying thank you for?

Think of yourself as a salesperson. You’re selling your services. The company and the hiring manager – they are your customer. You may say, “But, Angela – I really put a lot of work into the interview. It was not easy on me at all.” I get that, and I don’t disagree with you. But, the hiring manager is still the customer, and they will ultimately make the decision on whether or not you’re hired. With that in mind, saying thanks is critical.

The very best solution is to two fold. First, send a thank you email the afternoon after your interview. Then, write a hand written note to drop in the mail. The company may make a decision quickly, so the email ensures your message will get there in time. The handwritten note however is the one that will make you really stand out from your competition. In all likelihood, you will be the only candidate who sent a handwritten note.

Each email and each handwritten note should be personal and sent to just one person. Ideally, send one to each person who interviewed you along the way. The note itself should be brief. You want to thank the person for interviewing you, and if possible, mention something from your conversation. But, stay positive. If you are afraid the interview went badly, this isn’t the time to bring it up. The most important thing is to say thanks.

During a presentation I recently gave on this topic, someone in the audience asked a great question. “In the age of the internet, is it really important to send something that’s handwritten?” The answer is yes. Hiring decisions are not made on the internet. They’re made in real life. People hire people. And, they hire people who they like. The more that you can remember this, the more you’ll increase your odds at landing a job offer.

An online thank you card doesn’t replace a hand written note. I’m sure you may remember the last time you received a hand written thank you note. You may even still have it somewhere. I know that I do. I appreciate these notes, and I keep them. So do other people – including hiring managers. They will keep your hand written message and it will influence them in both this decision, and in the future.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Happy Thanksgiving-week from Angela & Copeland Coaching!

Happy Thanksgiving-week! I hope you have a wonderful week planned, full of food and loved ones. Giving thanks is an important part of being successful in business and in life. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part.

And, while things are slow at work, consider two things:

  1. Network Like You Mean It – I know, I know. Hiring slows down over the holidays. But, this is the thing. People hire people. And, during the holidays, people network. Take this time to reconnect with colleagues at holiday parties, lunches, or just over coffee on a slow day. You will be ahead of the game when hiring does get back into full swing.
  2. Update Your Resume & LinkedIn – During this quiet time at work, and in the hiring process, don’t just forget about your job search. Prepare! Use your down time to update your resume and LinkedIn, so you will be ready when someone asks you to send over a copy!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! THANK YOU for being such wonderful clients and friends to me over the last four years.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


Don’t forget to say thank you

How many times have you heard the phrase “don’t forget to say thank you”? When we were children, adults reiterated this phrase over and over again. Yet, somehow, as adults, we are forgetting this simple lesson.

The Wall Street Journal recently cited a poll that found of employers surveyed, 75% complained that job applicants didn’t send thank you notes after an interview. In addition to the after interview thank you notes, I have seen this trend inside cover letters. We are increasingly leaving out the thank you at the bottom of our cover letters.

The crazy thing is, a thank you is essentially free to give. It doesn’t require going back to school or paying for some expensive certification. It’s a simple acknowledgement of someone’s time and consideration.

But, given that we all mean well, I have to think that this trend is not intentional. It has to be connected back to how busy we all are, and how blurry the lines have become about social rules. We focus on being the most qualified candidate rather than the easiest to get along with. Yet, we know that hiring managers are people too. And, their decisions are often based on the little things, like first impressions.

Given the importance and the simplicity of the thank you, here are a few guidelines.

First, include a thank you in your cover letter. For example, near the end, you could say, “Thank you for taking the time to review my request.” This thank you is important because the hiring manager is very possibly reviewing hundreds of applications.

Then, as you correspond with the hiring manager, the human resources representative, or anyone else from the company, be sure to close all communications with a thank you. “Thank you for your help” or a simple “thank you” at the end of emails works great.

In person, thank the hiring manager for inviting you to interview. Thank them for their time.

After the interview, do two things. First, send electronic thank you notes by email. These are short emails sent to each person you interviewed with – thanking them for meeting with you. This can be a great place to mention something specific that you discussed with the interviewer.

Then, follow up with a hand written thank you note to each person. I know it sounds old fashioned, but it works. And, it’s cheap. Include a personal message for each person, and drop in your business card. It helps to remind them about who you are.

Sending a thank you note and a thank you email after an interview may sound redundant. But, think of it this way. The hand written note is the most powerful one, but it may get lost or take a while. The e-mail is the sure fire way to ensure the hiring manager hears from you before they make a decision.

The best news is, with so few people sending thank you notes, this simple gesture will make you stand ahead of the pack.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.