Can a Simple Thank-You Note Really Make a Difference?

thank-you note

Websites geared to job seekers and respiratory care educators alike will tell you that you should follow up any interview you get for a job with a simple thank-you note to the person or persons you interviewed with.

Does that really make a difference in whether or not you are hired? We asked three managers to weigh in on this topic.

Good tie breaker

“Yes, in specific circumstances,” said Regina Ambrosini, BSRT, RRT, RC manager at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. “For example, I am trying to decide between two different candidates and they both presented themselves very well and there is no appreciable difference between the two. If one sends a thank-you that would provide appreciable difference.”

What’s included in the note comes into play as well. Ambrosini likes to see an acknowledgment that the interview took place and mention of a few of the key areas discussed during the session. She also expects the job seeker to reiterate his or her interest in acquiring the position.

But she doesn’t want a lengthy letter that recaps everything that was said.

“This is not the time to rehash the entire interview or to correct any information given or expand on the discussion,” she said.

So, what is her preferred way to receive a thank-you note?

“Email,” said the AARC member, noting that it’s the quickest to receive and acknowledge.

It can’t hurt

Donald Carden, MBA, RRT, CPFT, director of respiratory care at Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc., in Wichita, KS, explains that he doesn’t really expect to receive a thank-you note from the job seekers he interviews, but it couldn’t hurt if it was sincere and simply written.

“In their own words, the candidate should thank the interviewer for the opportunity to learn more about the open position and reaffirm their interest,” Carden said. “Perhaps mention something that helped to pique their desire to work for the company.”

He also stresses the need to check carefully for grammatical and spelling errors, and he advises job seekers to forego any mention of salary.

As for how Carden would like to receive the letter, he’s open to email or snail mail, but says texting should be avoided.

“I would not be interested in receiving a text from a candidate I do not know very well,” Carden said.

A great example

Wendy Castro, MsRC, RRT-NPS, respiratory care site manager at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR, agrees a thank-you note is important.

“If I receive a personal thank-you, I feel that the candidate is more invested in getting the position,” she said. “It does not mean that the candidate will be selected, but in the event that several candidates have similar credentials and experience it can only help.”

The AARC member says email works for her too, and like Carden, advises people to steer clear of texting. That, she says, is a means of communication better left to personal correspondence between family and friends.

What should the letter entail? Castro offers this great example:

I would like to thank you for your consideration and for taking the time to talk with me today regarding the respiratory therapist position at _________. It was a pleasure to speak with you. I truly enjoyed learning more about the hospital, the department, and the great level of care you provide for your patients. I enjoyed learning more about this city and talking about hiking, coffee, and trails. I also enjoyed hearing about the experience and background you have.

I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the respiratory team at _______. I am confident that my experience and skills are a great match for this opportunity. 

I look forward to hearing from you, and to hopefully meet with you all again in the near future. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at ________.

Thank you again for taking the time out of your day to meet with me.