According to many MBA applicants we have spoken to, thank-you notes have become a topic of great confusion and even a source of some misguided ridicule.

So is the use of a thank-you note – creative or not – going to give you an inside edge and land you an admissions offer from your desired business school?

A thank you note should still be a routine part of interview follow up and that’s why we continue to recommend them for our clients. The thank-you note shouldn’t be elaborate, but it should: remind the addressee of something positive about the interview, express genuine gratitude for the recent interview, show interest in the possibility of attending the school, communicate how the school is a match made in heaven and, finally, it should be delivered electronically within 24 hours of the meeting.

This said, even if it’s done properly, it almost certainly will make only a minimal impact. And, obviously, if the applicant did not make a positive impression during the interview, the follow-up note will make not undo that in any way, shape or form.

Conversely, the thank you note can actually be harmful if it is not tactfully written. And this is simply because any time an applicant reveals something about themselves they are being evaluated in terms of their fitness to be students at that school.

So, by all means, please remember the rules we just covered when crafting your thank you notes, but don’t complete this step with an expectation that the notes are going to make a material difference in your application outcomes.

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