“If well written, a handwritten letter can deliver extraordinary impact.” – Max Kalehoff, SocialCode senior vice president.

Or maybe a handwritten letter sends some unintended signals to the hiring manager, including a less-than-up-to-date mindset?

One of the first things that mumsy taught you was to always say “please” and “thank you.”

The advice from moms across the fruited plain is timeless and always correct.

Thank you, merci, dankeschön, domo arigato, muchas gracias, спасибо may be the most critical expression in any language

The issue that comes to mind is not whether one should thank a hiring manager after an interview — you should each-and-every-time quickly and professionally communicate your appreciation for the opportunity — but how should these words of thanks be transmitted?

“Transmitted” is a good word to frame this debate.

Using Primitive Tools in a Digital World?

Many times Almost DailyBrett has heard academics and visiting professionals lecturing soon-to-graduate millennial students about the need to promptly (preferably the same day) send handwritten thank you notes to hiring managers.

This wisdom is reinforced in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, Seventh Edition by Professors Dennis L Wilcox and Bryan H. Reber.

Job applicants … make a much better impression with prospective employers by sending a handwritten thank you note instead of an email or text message thanking the employer for the interview.” – Professors Dennis L. Wilcox and Bryan H. Reber.


There is the possibility that a hand-written note on nice personal stationery may impress a hiring manager, but in our fast-moving digital age the question must be asked: Will this nice gesture actually backfire in the face of the job applicant?

Keep in mind that Almost DailyBrett exhibited the temerity to question the conventional wisdom of the one-page resume. This is the very same CV that is almost universally submitted online and encoded into binary code ones-and-zeroes before being decoded into readable text on a computer screen or screened by an algorithm for key search phrases. Yes, there are cases in which resumes are actually printed out, but that is just so yesterday.

Now Almost DailyBrett is taking on those who counsel hand-written thank you notes and doing so with great relish.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Let’s say you followed the advice of the Flat Earth Society and dipped your wick into the ink well, and used your elementary school cursive on your expensive Hallmark stationery.

You found the right words to express your sincere thanks and appreciation. You affixed a snail-mail stamp and entrusted the USPS (and a few prayers to a higher being) to send your message to its intended target in a few days or so. (Hopefully the hiring manager still remembers you).


And then it arrives or not.

It sits in a pile of other snail mail or not.

A secretary may open it or not.

He or she may put it into the hiring manager’s in-box or not.

He or she may “round file” the letter without reading it or not.

The variables here are too numerous to count.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the letter makes it to the hiring manager and she or he is able to decipher your hieroglyphics.

Is this really the way that you want to transmit your thanks and appreciation in this age of instantaneous communication and digital conversations?

What signal are you sending? Are you really comfortable with this pre-Johannes Gutenberg and his 1439 printing press approach? Maybe there is another way?

Using Digital Tools in a Digital World

Can one send a carefully crafted email or text message that very same day to express thanks and appreciation to the hiring manager for her/his time and consideration?

The answers are “yes” and “no.” A professionally written, relatively concise email to the hiring manager can properly express your sentiments and reinforce your interest in the job. Sending a terse text (redundant?), even though it is the cool di rigueur method of today’s communication, runs the risk of coming across as flippant and not doing the job.

Here’s another idea:


How about sending a thank you note in the form of a LinkedIn connection request to the hiring manager?

What are the benefits of this approach?

1.)   You are using digital tools to promptly convey your thanks and appreciation, and there is a strong likelihood the hiring manager will see your message.

2.)   Without saying so, you are demonstrating through your actions that you get it when it comes to social media.

3.)   Even if the hiring manager does not select you for the job, her or his decision to respond positively to your connection request provides you with another soldier in your networking army.

4.)   This approach provides the hiring manager with another opportunity to take a gander at your LinkedIn profile.

This is the same profile that confidently communicates your professional experience, your educational background, your professional mug shot, your glowing references, your PowerPoint presentations, your impressive list of connections and contacts, your awards, your publications and more.

Think of it this way, your LinkedIn profile is one-stop shopping for those who want to hire you.

So why aren’t you sending a thank you LinkedIn connection request to the person who just took the time and effort to interview you? There is no better time than right now after your killer interview.