The thank you note has become a lost piece of art in the interviewing process, but can help candidates stand out in the job search.

When I decided to join Lucas Group in 2012, I received a thank you letter from President and CEO Andi Jennings. Her kind gesture helped seal the deal for me to join the Lucas Group team. While I have always appreciated the art of the thank you note, it seems in recent years that less and less candidates send a thank you after interview.

Thank you notes are a simple, non-intrusive way to follow up with an interviewer or hiring manager and thank them for his or her time. While handwritten notes are not as timely as e-mails, they are an amazing opportunity to have a touch point with the potential employer. Most candidates are not sending interview thank you notes in today’s technology-driven society, and a handwritten note would definitely garner attention and make you stand out among the competition.

Whether or not you choose to send a handwritten note, I would recommend sending an interview thank you note via e-mail the same day as the interview. Thank the hiring manager for his or her time, express your interest in the position and let him or her know you would like to continue with the next step in the process, should that be the case. Even if you’re not interested in the position, simply express gratitude for him or her taking time out of their busy day to meet with you.

As an internal recruiter, I don’t like to over-prep my candidates for the interview and coach them to send thank you notes. Rather, I want them to come from a genuine, sincere place of gratitude. In my more than ten years in recruiting, I’ve learned that follow up is a critical part of my profession and throughout other industries. Sending a thank you note after an interview is the first opportunity to demonstrate your follow through and attention to detail.

Do you write thank you notes after an interview? Or have you received an outstanding letter in the mail recently? Share your experiences with us.