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Thank You Letters

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cleverclover

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I know it is correct etiquette to send a thank you letter after your interview, but I don't know exactly what I should say. I was wondering if anyone has advice on this? How detailed should the letter be, should you mention ways you believe you are a great match, etc, even if it is redundant from what you discussed at the interview. Also, should you send a letter to everyone who interviewed you? This weekend I interviewed with three professors, only one of which I am interested in and five students. I was planning on sending a letter to at least my POI, but should I send letters to all professors? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!!
 

joetro

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I've never done this ... maybe I should have ... but it always seemed awkward to me. Not sure if it makes a good impression or just looks desperate?

It probably doesn't hurt, though, to send a quick e-mail to thank the person you've stayed with, as it does seem like an imposition on their part.
 

Ella_Mental

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you should definitely send a thank you note/email to the professors that interviewed you and to the graduate students that boarded you and whatever else they did.

i think it's also important, especially to the letter to your POI, that you reiterate (if this is true) your desire to be in their program or in their lab what a great fit it was etc etc whatever whatever.

sorry for the somewhat ickily-crafted reply...i'm under the weather.

*ella:luck:
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Definitely do a card, it shows genuine effort. If they took the time to invite me out, I can take the time to sit down and write a thank you card. (I picked this up from interviewing for jobs...and you'd be surprised how many people DON'T do this)

-t
 

paramour

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Ditto the above posters. DO send Thank You notes/letters to your POI, other faculty interviews, and host grad students. I typically take my stationary and stuff along with me, write them when the interview day is over, and mail them at the local post office so they will get there a bit sooner than me waiting until I return home.
 

paramour

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Although I've sent thank you cards in the past, I really, really dislike the "cute-sy" type cards with the "thank you" on the front and my personal stationary cannot be re-ordered in a timely manner . . .

Soooo, who's sending letters (typed/written)? Who's sending note cards? Pros/cons?

Yeah, I'm likely overthinking it but I cannot seem to make up my mind. Hmm, decisions, decisions. (It's nice to have something fairly trivial to think about at times.)
 

RayneeDeigh

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Although I've sent thank you cards in the past, I really, really dislike the "cute-sy" type cards with the "thank you" on the front and my personal stationary cannot be re-ordered in a timely manner . . .

Soooo, who's sending letters (typed/written)? Who's sending note cards? Pros/cons?

Yeah, I'm likely overthinking it but I cannot seem to make up my mind. Hmm, decisions, decisions. (It's nice to have something fairly trivial to think about at times.)

At this point if I got an interview, I'd buy him/her a damn house.

:D

My completely uneducated 2 cents: cutesy cards are definitely overdone, but typed letters might make you seem too wordy. I'd go to a bookstore or something and buy some pretty paper and handwrite thank-you notes. It's a cross between the two ideas.
 

paramour

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At this point if I got an interview, I'd buy him/her a damn house.

:D

My completely uneducated 2 cents: cutesy cards are definitely overdone, but typed letters might make you seem too wordy. I'd go to a bookstore or something and buy some pretty paper and handwrite thank-you notes. It's a cross between the two ideas.

:laugh: Weeeeeeeell, I don't know about a house, but I may be looking for some good wine to send soon. I know a few connoisseurs who would appreciate a decent bottle or two. ;)

And, yeah, I agree--thought about writing on paper. I've been looking for some half-way decent paper but the stuff I can live with is regular size sheets and seems like it would still be to much (think empty space!); and the smaller sized sheets are still covered in cutesy crap. It does not help that I live in a horrible location, so there's not much around that I can just go out and pick something up. I've even gone so far as to think that I'll buy the decent regular sized stuff and cut it in half to make the desired size . . . but not so sure how well that would work. Ah, well, I've got a few more days to overanalyze this oh, so important decision. :D
 

Psych_Ho

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Taking the time to write a thank you is always a good idea, especially to any graduate students who hosted you and to POI. One thing to keep in mind: while it does show the extra effort when you write a paper note, the trade off is the amount of time it takes for the POI to get it in the mail. Email of course, is immediate, so consider writing an email in lieu of a paper note if time is of the essence. Often decisions are made soon after in-person interviews - ie, before they even would have received a snail-mail thank you. So you may be better served to write an email thank you combined with restating your interest in working with him/her rather than sticking completely to "proper" etiquette by sending a formal letter/card in the mail.
Another option to consider if you really feel you must do paper cards: bring tasteful notecards with you on in-person interview dates. That way when you leave the grad student's house you were staying in, you can leave a note for them to find immediately. You can also leave a note in the POI's dept mailbox or with the dept secretary at the end of inteview day for the POI. This avoids having to scramble for mailing address, etc. and delays.
:luck:
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I don't know about a house, but I may be looking for some good wine to send soon. I know a few connoisseurs who would appreciate a decent bottle or two. ;)

Get them a bottle from Screaming Eagle.....if that doesn't get you in, they don't know their wine. ;)

-t

ps. Their mid 90's Cabs are amazing. They have a crazy following now, so you have to probably buy the bottles at auction, but ~7-8 years ago you could find a bottle for a few hundred (expense account baby!).
 

paramour

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Get them a bottle from Screaming Eagle.....if that doesn't get you in, they don't know their wine. ;)

-t

ps. Their mid 90's Cabs are amazing. They have a crazy following now, so you have to probably buy the bottles at auction, but ~7-8 years ago you could find a bottle for a few hundred (expense account baby!).

I just googled and pulled up a listing on eBay for wine! :eek: I've come to the conclusion that they sell anything there now.

And, for the price, I expect it to get me something--much more expensive than that classy box o' wine I was looking at earlier. :laugh:
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I just googled and pulled up a listing on eBay for wine! :eek: I've come to the conclusion that they sell anything there now.

And, for the price, I expect it to get me something--much more expensive than that classy box o' wine I was looking at earlier. :laugh:

The funny thing about SE is that if you bought from them before they got REALLY popular (and got on their mailing list), you can still buy their bottles for a very affordable (all things are relative) $250-$300/bt. I haven't checked on them lately, but I know their NEW vintages are auctioned for a min. of $1000-$1500/bt. Their early 90's stuff goes for $3000+/bt at auction. If the only way you can get access to a bottle is through an auction...you KNOW you are in trouble. :laugh:

-t
 

amy203

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hmmmm - I know this goes against what a few people have said, by I've been treating my thank you notes as, well, thank you notes and not as part of my application. I don't mention match or how much I want to go to their school - I just say that I had a good time and enjoyed talking with them and thank you so much for the invite.

Oh, and I'm using some very non-cutesy, non-gender specific note cards, handwritten in my terrible, terrible handwriting. It's what Emily Post recommends...
 

paramour

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hmmmm - I know this goes against what a few people have said, by I've been treating my thank you notes as, well, thank you notes and not as part of my application. I don't mention match or how much I want to go to their school - I just say that I had a good time and enjoyed talking with them and thank you so much for the invite.

Oh, and I'm using some very non-cutesy, non-gender specific note cards, handwritten in my terrible, terrible handwriting. It's what Emily Post recommends...

I couldn't find any non-cutesy, non-gender specific note cards . . . well, except ones that looked pretty darned crappy. I finally ran across some decent stationary paper that's plain, plain, plain, with nothing artsy, fartsy on it, so I'm set! Unless I get any more invites, then I have to go find more.

And, don't worry, I'm sure we'll all have fun trying to write straight across unlined paper/cards. That should keep us all occupied more than the cruddy handwriting. Hmm, perhaps we should print? :D
 

paramour

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The funny thing about SE is that if you bought from them before they got REALLY popular (and got on their mailing list), you can still buy their bottles for a very affordable (all things are relative) $250-$300/bt. I haven't checked on them lately, but I know their NEW vintages are auctioned for a min. of $1000-$1500/bt. Their early 90's stuff goes for $3000+/bt at auction. If the only way you can get access to a bottle is through an auction...you KNOW you are in trouble. :laugh:

-t

But, but, but . . . it's an INVESTMENT! In my future! Surely several thousand's worth it to get into the school you really, really want? :D
 

paramour

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That's how you rationalize the GRE study course, the application fees, etc.

:laugh:

-t

Oh, yeah! I conveniently forgot about all of those thousands. Thanks for reminding me! :scared: I'll send you a "thank you" note on my nifty new paper. :p
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Oh, yeah! I conveniently forgot about all of those thousands. Thanks for reminding me! :scared: I'll send you a "thank you" note on my nifty new paper. :p

*high fives*

No one every told me about the $ i'd spend just APPLYING to schools. I think I put a FedEx Executive's kid through college.....oh the irony. :(

-t
 

ahhhh

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I'm sure thank you notes are great but when I sent my thank you email I got an email back saying thanks for the thank you but we are not accepting you.
so be prepared
 

guarinis

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so should i really send thank you notes to everybody i interviewed with? doesn't that look a little crazy?
 

Lunabin

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so should i really send thank you notes to everybody i interviewed with? doesn't that look a little crazy?

Not if they have a say in your acceptance/rejection. I think the notes are a must, because in the end - even if they reject you and the note made no difference what so ever - they can't hurt! You may actually impress someone with your professionalism and gratitude.
 

Psych_Ho

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I just want to emphasize that it is totally FINE to email any profs, grad students, etc. whom you interviewed with to say thank you in lieu of a note b/c it is quicker. Seriously, it is the thanks that counts and not the actual paper (in this case). However- anyone who made extra effort such as a grad student you stayed with should receive a handwritten thank you. I have been on all sides of this situation- as an applicant, as a grad student hosting applicants at my apt., as a grad student interviewing applicants, etc., and as an early career faculty interviewing applicants. But to each her own!!!!
 

irish80122

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I just want to emphasize that it is totally FINE to email any profs, grad students, etc. whom you interviewed with to say thank you in lieu of a note b/c it is quicker. Seriously, it is the thanks that counts and not the actual paper (in this case). However- anyone who made extra effort such as a grad student you stayed with should receive a handwritten thank you. I have been on all sides of this situation- as an applicant, as a grad student hosting applicants at my apt., as a grad student interviewing applicants, etc., and as an early career faculty interviewing applicants. But to each her own!!!!

It is good to know that an email works as well. I was postponing my thank you notes because I don't yet have the cards to write them on, so now I will just go ahead and send some emails.

On a sidenote, I felt bad because the POI that I interviewed with at a school which turned me down actually wrote to me saying he was sorry that it didn't work out BEFORE I could write him a thank you letter. I instead wrote a thank you response and politely asked if there was anything in my application I could improve upon (I know, probably shouldn't have done that, but I was curious) and thanked him once again for the opportunity to interview. I definitely won't be the second one to email in the future, and I do hope he responds with feedback because I do want to get better at this crazy process. I can't blame him if he doesn't.

Anyways, I guess I am no longer responding to the post above me, so I will end it there. Good luck this weekend everyone!
 

binshka

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I just want to emphasize that it is totally FINE to email any profs, grad students, etc. whom you interviewed with to say thank you in lieu of a note b/c it is quicker. Seriously, it is the thanks that counts and not the actual paper (in this case). However- anyone who made extra effort such as a grad student you stayed with should receive a handwritten thank you. I have been on all sides of this situation- as an applicant, as a grad student hosting applicants at my apt., as a grad student interviewing applicants, etc., and as an early career faculty interviewing applicants. But to each her own!!!!

This is great advice. A mentor of mine who takes grad students told me that she doesn't like notes - thinks it's a waste of trees. I think it depends on the person, I plan on sending brief emails.

Also, I've been hearing a lot of horror stories from grad students about applicants that come stay and don't bother to say thank you. Not only is this obnoxious, but this will get back to the person you are interviewing with...
 

Ella_Mental

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I really think email is best. I sent off thank you emails yesterday to faculty members and have already received responses. And it's not crazy to email everyone who made an impression or helped you. Everyone likes to know when they've done a good job or have been especially accommodating, even if it's written in just a few lines. Besides, whether or not you are accepted, it's always gratifying to know you were polite.

Just my $.02

*ella:luck:
 

GiantSteps

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Alright, I listened to all of your advice and sent thank-you notes in the form of e-mail. I had actually done this before ever reading this thread, then dismissed it as irrelevent, and then picked it up again. However, what do all of you think about the professor writing back? Is it a good sign, a bad sign, no significance, or does it depend? It was basically a very general reply with slightly positive connotations. Other times, I have received: 1. no response; 2. received a reply which was clearly a take a hike; 3. one which was very positive but not from the professor who I wanted as a POI and one who was not taking students so it did not matter; and 4. one which was great, followed by now let me if there is funding, followed by sorry no funding. So what does everyone have to say?
 

NeuroPsyStudent

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a polite response is probably better than no response, but less good than a personal and enthusiastic response. This may be a completely different can of worms, but I have heard internship site directors ranting about how much they hate thank you notes. I will not be writing them in snailmail or email next year
 

psypsypsy

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Having been on the interview side and now on the graduate student side, I deifnitely recommend sending thank you notes. Although handwritten is nice, I actually prefer email ones because they'll get there in time for decision-making. A lot of ranking and decision making is made within the first week after interviews, and snail-mail may not get there in time. I don't think it makes or breaks anyone's decisions, but it makes you a bit more remembered in the array of prospectives. Also, it lets the professors know that you understand proper etiquette and more social norms, which is actually an important skill.

Also, in terms of responses, I remember getting a variety of responses from professors. I think each professor does it differently; some may not respond to anyone, and some may respond to everyone. I actually didn't get a response from the mentor I ended up working with, even though I was his first choice. But I got responses from people from places I didn't get in, as well as getting responses from places I did. Basically, don't take it as a bad sign if you don't get a response. It's just some professors policies not to respond to them.
 

dubbs07

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I just realized last night that I didn't send a thank-you to the professor I spoke with informally for a couple of minutes while interviewing 2 weeks ago. :( Is it too late to send one now? (Yes, I remembered all the people I formally interviewed with!) At that interview, I also chatted with one of my POI's grad students for a long time - should I have sent thank you note? If so, is it too late?? Lastly, what about the other faculty member I would be interested in having as a co-advisor but didn't get to meet with when I was there? Should I have sent him an email? Is it too late now?! :scared:

GAH!!!! :eek:

Any help would be much appreciated! :oops:
 

psychanon

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I just realized last night that I didn't send a thank-you to the professor I spoke with informally for a couple of minutes while interviewing 2 weeks ago. :( Is it too late to send one now? (Yes, I remembered all the people I formally interviewed with!) At that interview, I also chatted with one of my POI's grad students for a long time - should I have sent thank you note? If so, is it too late?? Lastly, what about the other faculty member I would be interested in having as a co-advisor but didn't get to meet with when I was there? Should I have sent him an email? Is it too late now?! :scared:

GAH!!!! :eek:

Any help would be much appreciated! :oops:

I think it is too late, and it's also not a big deal. So no worries!:thumbup:
 
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