Ask PEGA: The Art of the Thank You Note

Welcome to the third installment of Ask PEGA, an advice column for all PEGA-SIS members. Just a reminder all questions can be submitted here and will be answered on a rolling basis by our anonymous pool of upper and middle managers from law libraries of all types and sizes.

Q: What is the etiquette on Thank You Notes in the age of email? Hand written or is an email acceptable?

A1: Although handwritten thank you notes provide a more personal touch, many searches are run on a tight timeline. If a search committee or hiring manager moves expeditiously to fill the position, a note sent via snail mail might be of no help. I’ve served on several hiring committees at three institutions, and none of my fellow committee members have expressed a strong preference for handwritten thanks you notes. If you want to cover your bases, send a thank you email within 24 hours of your interview followed by a handwritten note.

A2: Anything is better than nothing – I’d rather get an email than no note at all. In many libraries, a handwritten note is more practical, however, because it can be shared easily among a larger staff. Some older staff members may feel an email is less acceptable and shows less thoughtfulness, so erring on the side of a handwritten note may be wise, as long as it is sent promptly.

A3: I’m assuming that you are asking in reference to interviewing for a potential new job, and not about a bonus offer from a vendor. Since you are attempting to distinguish yourself from the other applicants, a hand written note is preferable to an email. Unless, of course, the note might arrive after a decision has been made.

A4: Depends on the situation. Maybe email for phone interviews and handwritten for in person…

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