When you are in the process of interviewing for a job, don’t forget a very important step… the post-interview Thank You note.

In this competitive job market, people write Thank You notes more than you may think. In order to stand out from the crowd you have to write, not type, a killer Thank You note. While a bad Thank You note will most likely not reverse the opinion of the interviewer, a good one may make a difference.

First, let’s start with a few things you should not do in a Thank You note after a job interview.

Don’t be too generic– Could someone who didn’t even participate in the interview have written this? If your answer is yes, start all over.

Don’t forget to proof read– Besides obviously spelling the interviewers name wrong; are their typos or grammar mistakes in your note (like there are in this sentence)? If so, you run the risk of looking sloppy and/or unprofessional.

So how do you write a Thank You note that makes a lasting impression?

Don’t be afraid to reference a comment made by the interviewer– For example, “You mentioned your group has been extra busy since the merger and I appreciate you spending an hour of your time with me.”

Offer proof of your qualifications and experiences– Reference specific details from the interview that remind the interviewer how your skills could help the company.

If you want the job, it’s worth the time to handwrite a Thank You note.  A well written Thank You note will help improve your chances of moving forward in the interviewing process.