Employment experts say it’s crucial to send a thank-you note after a job interview, because a well-written note can help you stand out from the crowd. Fewer than 40-percent of interviewees send one, but a Career Builder survey found that a quarter of employers won’t hire an applicant who doesn’t send one. But sending a badly written note is almost as bad as sending nothing. Because a note that’s too short, too generic, or is filled with typos and grammatical errors makes it look like you don’t care. So, here’s what not to put in a job interview thank-you note:

  • First: Don’t just say “Thank you for interviewing me.” To make a good second impression, you need to add details from the interview that prove you were paying attention. Try something like: “You mentioned you’re swamped with the X-Y-Z project, so I appreciate you spending a whole hour with me.” And then tell them why your qualifications make you perfect for the job.
  • What else shouldn’t you say in an interview thank-you note? “I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you.” Because that announces that you’re so bad at managing your time, you can’t handle a task as simple as sending a note..
  • Another interview thank-you note no-no: “Please enjoy this gift as a token of my appreciation.” Experts say that sending flowers or cookies won’t make them more likely to hire you. In fact, it could kill your chances. Because it might look like you’re so desperate for a job, you’re willing to bribe your way in. 
  • The final tip: Never skip the thank-you note, and call the interviewer to say thank you, instead. It’s fine to call a week after you mail your thank-you, to follow up. But calling an interviewer just to say thanks isn’t appropriate or effective, and might be considered lazy. In fact, they might be so annoyed that you called, that they’ll pass you right over, then and there.