It may seem archaic in this day and age, but sending a prompt thank-you note after an interview is still viewed by many hiring managers as a critical follow-up step in the hiring process. While no one is sitting at the computer monitoring the inbox for your note, most employers would agree: they notice if the note never arrives. According to Amy Levin-Epstein of CBS MoneyWatch, “It can show that you are enthusiastic and conscientious — maybe more so than an equally qualified candidate who did not go to the trouble of sending a letter.”

As Managing Partner for the Atlanta accounting recruiting division, I advise my candidates to send a follow-up email to interviewers within 24 hours.

Within the note, be sure to do the following:

Acknowledge Their Time – this might seem obvious, but nevertheless mention your appreciation. Most managers are extremely busy. By saying, “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me about my depth of sales experience,” you are acknowledging a respect for their time.

Recap the Highlights – this is your chance to sell yourself and reiterate your accomplishments and value you can bring to the organization. Remind them why you are the obvious choice for the position and make reference to a specific topic you discussed during the interview. For example, you might say, “I appreciated the opportunity to discuss my experience in achieving revenue growth in my current position, and how I can transfer those skills to… (name of company).”

Express Interest in the Job – reiterate that you are interested the position and remind them why you would be an immediate asset to the company. “I believe my knowledge and experience would allow me to make an immediate impact on the revenue stream within your sales department.”

Lest you ponder the debate between a hand-written note versus modern technology, Jessica Liebman, Managing Editor of Business Insider, advises against snail-mail. “There’s a delay. I’m a firm believer in following up with a thank-you note less than 24 hours after the interview, while you’re still fresh in the interviewer’s mind.”

Failure to send a prompt note could leave you looking unprofessional, disinterested, or both. It may be 2013, but most hiring managers still agree on the value of a sincere thank you. Even in today’s fast-paced technological world, manners still matter. And they may just make the difference between who gets that hard-to-win executive position and who’s left sitting on the sidelines.

What is your approach – a handwritten note or an email immediately following the interview? I look forward to hearing how you follow up with hiring managers.