Always send a thank you email after your job interview, instead of a handwritten note. Some think that putting pen to paper for your note is more personal. But there are factors that are more speed, adaptability, and the possibility of keeping the communication going.

So why am I such a passionate advocate for email? It's because I have been in recruiting and career coaching for about 15 years now, and I've talked with hundreds of hiring managers, and they consistently say that just sending a thank you note at all already makes you stand out. It would surprise you how many job seekers don't say thank you.

So why is a thank you email better than a handwritten thank you note?

1. Speed.

Emails can (and should) no later than 24 hours after your interview. Many hiring decisions are made very quickly in the interview process. Companies very often don't have weeks to make a decision. They need someone in that spot now. If you're convinced a handwritten note is the way to go (because maybe you've interviewed with a super-conservative company or someone who doesn't believe in email), the best you can do is have it addressed and ready to mail immediately after your interview because speed matters. But sending an email is appropriate, it's fast, and it won't get lost in the mail ever. (I have had candidates lose opportunities over a 24 hour period. Don't risk it with a handwritten note.)

2. Adaptability.

Sending an email lends itself to one of my favorite tactics, which is sending an updated 30-60-90-day plan that includes all the stuff you talked over with the hiring manager in the interview. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, find out about 30-60-90-day plans and create one for your next interview.) That shows that you've got the ability to take in information, process it, and adapt as necessary.

3. Potential for ongoing communication.

I've known of more than one hiring manager to continue the conversation with the candidate by responding to the email in a way that they never would have with a handwritten thank you note--especially if you've sent along a conversation-catalyst like your 30-60-90-day plan. But anything you comment on in your message can spark a new conversation, and that might just give you one more edge in the process.

Always send a thank you email within 24 hours after your job interview.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee offers job search advice, tips, tools, and training for that are guaranteed to work fast at her website

Find out more about what to say in your thank you email from the sample note in this blog post: