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Thank you letters – email vs hand written

thank you letter emailIn this world of fast paced electronic communication, it is almost impossible to slow down and send a thank you letter.

But when it comes to saying thank you, you must consider your options carefully.

Sometimes an emailed thank you is ok, at other times it is definitely a no, no.

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Knowing when it is ok and when it is not, is key to making your thank you letters the best they can be. Follow up letters are some of the only places where emailed thank you letters are acceptable.

Time is of the essence with follow up letters. Email may be the only way you are able to chime in before the position is filled.

Most thank you letter diehards will tell you to never send a thank you letter electronically. If you are never going to get the stationary out it is probably better to send an email than do nothing at all. In the case of follow up letters, an email is probably your best bet if you are trying to get your thanks out before the position is filled.

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If you still prefer to hand write and mail a follow up letter you will set yourself apart and give the potential employer a reason to remember you among all the applicants and other thank you letters. This requires you to send your letter almost immediately since it will have to go through the mail. It is ok to send electronic thanks when time is of the essence and you can’t afford to wait for the snail to deliver the mail.

If you do email a thank you letter be sure not to use templates or cut and paste the choice words of someone else. Make your email thank you letters your own work. It will be very obvious if you send words that are not your own. You sound like yourself even in email. A template will eliminate your natural voice from your thank you note. Be sincere and genuine, that will come through in the words you write even if they are delivered electronically.

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When you leave an interview ask your interviewer for a business card. This is a great way to get access to all the information you need whether you decide to send a traditional thank you card or email one. A business card will have a name, position, physical address, email address, and phone numbers.

You will need all of these things in composing your follow up letter. Follow traditional guidelines for the format of your letter. Keep it professional since your follow up letter may be as important as your interview. Be concise and specific. Help your interviewer to remember what set you apart and why you are so great for the job.

All follow up letters should be kept short and professional. A few sentences are plenty to express all these things. Writing a thank you letter following a job interview may make all the difference in the world.

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by Don Georgevich

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