Never underestimate the power of saying ‘thank you.’ A well-written and thoughtful thank you note is both a sign of politeness and a tool that can be used to help you get ahead.
Thank you notes should be personalized and customized according to the circumstance. Here are a few tips for how to send the perfect thank you email — no matter the situation.
After a networking meeting
Danny Rubin, email expert and author of “Wait, How Do I Write This Email?,” says that the secret to the perfect thank you email after a networking meeting is to keep the conversation going.
Rubin writes, “Within 24 hours of your networking meeting, you need to send a thank you email. It’s not enough to say ‘Thanks so much’ when you’re in the room with the person.”
This is also a golden opportunity to solidify your relationship. “The email cements how much you appreciate the person’s time, and also gives you the opportunity to continue the conversation,” he says.
One way you can increase the likelihood of your contact responding to your message is to recap what you learned from your conversation. “Show the person you value his/her advice. In fact, you find the person’s wisdom so notable that you repeat it back.”
This technique works because it appeals to every person’s inner narcissist. Rubin explains that repeating a person’s advice is “a major ego boost and an added incentive for the person to pass along your resume, meet up again or send networking emails on your behalf.”
After hosting an event
If you host an event, thanking your guests is the best way to keep in touch and take advantage of the social capital your event hopefully generated. For instance, when hosting a fundraising event, thank you notes can be crucial to the success of your cause.
In this situation, Rubin suggests using the “wrinkle method.” A “wrinkle” is a moment that caught people by surprise and made the event memorable. By including one of these special moments in your email, the “wrinkle method” allows you to develop a personal relationship before you “jump right into business.”
The reason this method works is because mentioning a specific moment from the event or recalling a personal conversation that you shared increases the sincerity and power of your note.
“It’s an approach to strengthen relationships, develop rapport and prove you’re one of a kind,” writes Rubin. “In every writing scenario, the goal is to be unforgettable. The ‘wrinkle’ method will make it happen. ”
After an interview
Sending a follow-up email after an interview is a crucial step when applying for a job — for multiple reasons. It can help you stand out from the other candidates, it gives you a second chance at answering a tough question and it can help you develop a relationship with your interviewer.
The secret to the perfect post-interview email is personalization. Rubin told CNBC Make It, “The key with the follow-up message is to include something the person said in the conversation that stood out to you. That way, it proves you listened and makes the message stronger than a basic ‘Thanks again!'”
Another way to make sure that your email improves your chances of landing the job is to mirror the language used by the company you interviewed with. Read their website, brochures and pamphlets to get a sense of how they communicate and what they value. If a company repeatedly uses the word “synergy,” use similar but more conversational words like “teamwork” and “collaboration.”
By personalizing your note and matching the company’s tone, you can demonstrate how you’d fit right in with the team.