After a job interview, what’s the first thing you do? Well, most likely you take a deep breath and kick off your interview shoes. But before you settle in, there’s one more step that should always be on your list: sending a thank you note.

Just as you had to take time out of your day to attend the interview, your interviewer did too. Just like when someone gives you a gift, it’s a nice gesture to thank someone in writing for their time. Not to mention, it also shows the employer a few things about you as a potential employee, including that:

You Care

Sending a thank you note after an interview is a way to prove your genuine interest in the company and position. Think about it, job interviews are similar to dates – two people meeting in a room to decide what they think of each other. After a date with someone you have no interest in, would you send them another text saying you had fun? Probably not. But after a great date, you want to tell the other person how much you enjoyed it and what was so great about it. That makes the other person – in the case of a job interview, the employer – more likely to respond because he can see that you are invested in the opportunity.

In fact, we will often send a thank you note to guests who visit the Advance Financial corporate office to share our appreciation for their visit – no matter what they came in for. We want to let that person know how special they are to us. Your thank you notes have the potential to do that too.

You’re Proactive

Not only does sending a note show you care, but it shows that you’re willing to go out of your way to keep the opportunity open. It’s also a way of following up and reminding the employer that you spoke with her recently and are excited to hear about next steps. At Advance Financial, we highly value employees who are always willing to go the extra mile.

You’re Grateful

Thanking someone for their time can exhibit gratefulness and humility, which are beneficial qualities in an employee. A thank you note can establish that you recognize that you are not the only applicant, and that you value the opportunity to meet with us whether you are hired for the position or not.

You Deserve Consideration

Often employers will get dozens of applications for the same position, and many of those candidates will look similar on paper. However, by taking the extra step to send a thank you note, you may stand out from the pack.

For example, we recently had two applicants who were basically on equal footing in terms of qualifications and personality. Although we chose one of them to hire, the other sent a thank you note, and we ultimately decided to offer her a job, too. We had already made our decision, but that thank you note caused us to take a second look at the other applicant and decide to hire both. Without that note, the second applicant wouldn’t have received a job offer.

Sometimes you go on so many interviews and send so many thank you notes, they all seem to blur together and feel less important. But from an employer’s perspective, they really do make a difference. It is not only polite, but also smart, practice to include them in your interview process.