I’m not a big note writer or “Happy Birthday” wisher or a timely giver of baby and wedding presents. I’m not the friend who goes off registry and yet manages to find the perfect gift you never knew you needed. But, I am a huge fan of thank you notes. Not only is sending off a quick “Thank You” simply good manners, personalized notes are always well received. They show you put a little time, thought, and effort into acknowledging another’s actions. This is why every job interview, regardless of outcome, must be followed by a well-written thank you note.

The benefits of firing off a thank you note after a job interview are many. First, it signals to an employer that not only are you interested in the position at hand, you are also organized, respectful, and follow through. If you are being compared with another nurse practitioner also in the running for the position, distinguishing yourself by sending a simple card could land you the job. One CareerBuilder survey even suggests that one in five managers are less likely to hire candidates who neglect to send a post-interview thank you note.

Second, a thank you note leaves you in the good graces of the employer, regardless of the interview outcome. Even if you didn’t get the job this time, a thank you note makes you memorable should you apply for another position with the same company at a later date. With clinics being bought out by larger hospitals and the growing trend of consolidation among healthcare companies, it is increasingly likely there may be only one or two prospective employers where you live. Not only do you not want to burn bridges, it is essential to maintain a standout reputation in your professional community.

Lastly, sending a thank you note is a covert way to ensure a prospective employer follows up with you after an interview. It serves as a more gentle reminder to get moving with the hiring process than a follow up email titled “let me know if I got the job, STAT!”. Employers are accustomed to a barrage of emails regarding open nurse practitioner positions and a handwritten thank you note comes across as distinguished and polished helping you to make your mark in a sometimes competitive nurse practitioner job market.

Email is an increasingly acceptable method of firing off a post job interview note of gratitude, but I remain a fan of the handwritten, pen and paper thank you note. These notes don’t get lost in inboxes and overall garner a higher degree of appreciation on part of the employer. So, go old school on this one and get a thank you note in the mailbox within 24 hours of your next job interview.

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