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Sebastian Lutz

I have served on maybe seven or so search committees for PhD positions, postdoc positions, and visiting assistant professorships (outside the US and UK, although with some US and UK Applicants). I have received a thank-you note exactly once, and it simply seemed a bit odd (a fellow committee member mentioned the same). It certainly did not change my impression of the applicant one way or the other.


I never sent a thank you note because it felt weird - thank you for interviewing me? I guess, I mean you interviewed me for your own, benefit, not out of an act of charity, I would hope. I did send thank you notes after a flyout, because then there were specific things to be thankful for - getting me a nice hotel, taking me out to eat, etc. A kind of related note -I once had a flyout invitation that went into my spam box. Thank goodness the search committee was persistent. I felt so horrible it had been 10 days!!!


I'm a bit flabbergasted that one would entertain the possibility that sending a thank-you note could play against you. Politeness matters. Plus, thank-you notes are simply a way to keep the line open, to confirm to the committee you're interested in the job and will be available for questions or extra materials, and to acknowledge that they used a fair share of their time to speak with you. Whether or not they make a difference is beside the point. They can't hurt, they're nice and they're probably expected to some degree by many people. If anyone holds it against you that you sent a thank-you note, they're not worth having as colleagues.

Marcus Arvan

Nicolas: I'm a bit flabbergasted too. I thought thank-you notes were pretty standard, and kind to boot. It surprises me that anyone would think one is odd. Then again, that's the job market. What one person finds kind and polite, another finds strange. Go figure. :/

SLAC tenured professor & chair

Agreed @Nicolas!

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