Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.
After visiting campus or interviewing, many candidates choose to write thank you letters to their respective hosts. So, what makes a good thank you note?
1) Personalization: When writing to your host/interviewer, it is important that you show sincerity by personalizing your letter. By handwriting your letter and mentioning specifics about your conversations and experiences, you will continue to foster your connection with the individual and show that your visit truly made an impression.
2) Brevity: Your letter should be no more than a few sentences long. By writing several paragraphs, you can create the negative impression that you are trying too hard or that you simply do not respect limits (possibly even suggesting that you might carry on too long in class). By being brief and sincere, you will make a powerful impression that will yield results.
3) Speed: You should send your letter within two or three days of your visit, at the most. After a week, your interest may logically fall into question or your host may simply forget some of the details you are trying to reinforce. By writing immediately, you will create the impression that you have been energized by the experience and are eager to maintain your connection.
Thank you notes are generally not a make or break aspect of your candidacy, but they can establish continuity. We encourage candidates to follow up with such notes because they are a low-cost way of reinforcing a positive impression/relationship.