Some basic rules of the road for post follow up etiquette after interviewing can go a long way to helping secure a new position. A well-crafted e-mail or handwritten card can go a long way to secure a position.
1. Be Prompt. I strongly recommend sending a handwritten note the day of the interview–so the hiring manager gets it within a day or two. If you already know the name of the hiring manager you can have the card or e-mail ready to send (saved in your draft folder). It says a lot about you when you follow up within a short clip of time. If you wait for more than a day or two you can come off as a procrastinator who may not be invested in working for that organization.
2. Leave the stand-up routine at home. Don’t get too chummy or corny. Make sure your handwriting is legible and that spelling and grammar are correct. It’s an absolute must to re-read your email or letter before sending it. I once had a very capable student misspell the name of the company he was applying too in his follow up email. If he couldn’t take the time to ensure he was spelling the name right, it makes the employer wonder about his commitment to that employer. That small, but an important mistake was a deal breaker for the employer.
3. Be confident, but not cocky. Good follow-ups should be specific as possible. But more importantly, they are more about them and less about you. For instance, your note might follow up on a point that he hiring manager made during the interview and how your expertise could help the company out. The specificity about their business shows your attention to detail, and that you want to help solve problems that are important to them.