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Sending a Themed Thank-You Note?

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

A reader writes:

I recently applied for a job at an animal care facility, and I made sure to note in my cover letter than I’m a compassionate animal (and people) person in hopes that this will show my personality and also put my resume at the top of the pile. If (hopefully when) I land an interview with this company, I plan on sending out a handwritten thank-you note afterwards. Is it too cheesy to write my note on animal-themed stationery if I keep it tasteful? I want to stand out from the crowd, but not in a bad way. What are your thoughts?

I say this as someone who used to work for an animal charity: Skip the animal-themed stationary. Go with something more professional.

I keep saying that gimmicks don’t work; what makes you stand out is being a really strong candidate. If you’re thinking of trying something to make yourself stand out that doesn’t really relate to your qualifications for the job, that’s a good sign that you might be going too far afield.

Quiz: What’s Your Cover Letter IQ?