The stuffing is gone, the turkey bones have become a nice soup stock, and the last few pieces of flakey crust have been scraped from the pie plates - Thanksgiving has come and gone. While the November version of Thanksgiving is one of the biggest events of the year, giving thanks year round should be commonplace, especially in the arena of the job search.
But what's the norm - a card? An email?
Times have changed but opinions remain mixed.
Sending an email cannot hurt your chances (make sure you mention the right company, however!), but not sending an email can. Reiterating your interest in the job reaffirms your personal motivation for getting the offer and positions you as an eager, lively candidate. It'll keep you (and your proper manners) at the top of the hiring manager's mind when it comes down to decision time.
A card is a lovely, personalized way to thank the company but beware - you don't want to miss out on an opportunity because of the USPS's shipping times. In some industries, decisions are made within days so emailers edge out snail mail-ers. Also, if it's a tech company or if the person you met with has an assistant who handles his mail, there's no point in sending a card. You don't want to be seen as old fashioned, or even worse - not seen at all. For the right people, a card will mean a lot, so just try to read your audience.
When to send?
Send a thank you email within 24 hours, though same day is best. For a card, you'll probably want to throw it in a mailbox on your way home from the interview. Read: as soon as possible.
What to say?
Remember, this isn't interview number 2. Thank them for taking time out of their day to meet with you, maybe reference something you spoke about (it'll better connect your email with the interview) and spend only one sentence on your being perfect for the position. Address them formally, and then five sentences in your own voice should do the trick - they can spot a template from a mile away.
While few people have gotten a job specifically due to thanking the interviewer with a note, many have not been offered a job due to a lack of a thank you. Which side would you rather be on?