When I talk to college seniors, I always bring up the importance of that handwritten note or follow up note after an interview or a meeting of any type (yes, even a coffee meeting!). But I realize that the timing of this short note is key. You can’t let a long time lapse between the date of the meeting and the follow up note you write. I get it: you get busy and this loses its place on the priority list. But I gave a talk via zoom a couple of weeks ago to a group of university students, and I noticed that the thank you notes I received within 2 days of my talk were long, well written, meaningful, and caring. Those students had mentioned specific thoughts that I had raised in my talk and let me know why those pieces of advice meant so much to them personally. I could tell that I had reached these individuals. The notes that came one to 2 weeks after my talk almost read like these students were supposed to send me a note. They were short, didn’t touch on anything specifically that I had stated, didn’t go into their worries about life after college.
I’m not saying that these later letters came from students who were any less important than the first group, but what I am saying is that when you meet someone–on the phone, via zoom, in person–follow up soon thereafter to thank that person for her time. Whether you have the time to write this note or not.