It’s 2014 and you’ve just gotten out of a job interview. Are you thinking about sending a thank you note? I mean modern technology has taken us past the archaic notion of a thank you note, right? Wrong.
How thank you notes can impact your job search
This Harvard Business Review piece suggests that most people have disregarded the thank you note as instant communication like texts, Tweets and Facebook posts have seemingly rendered them useless. No way!Your specific career accomplishments and background are obviously very important when considering qualified candidates for job openings, but there are several other things hiring managers take into consideration. One of those is most definitely the thank you note. I’ve read articles over the years that suggest anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 10 candidates send a thank you note. Whatever the actual number may be, it offers tremendous opportunity to stand out from the competition and make a positive impression.So while thank you notes may seem very “un-2014,” they offer a very real and current way to position yourself as the leading candidate for your next career opportunity. After a job interview, try to send out a thank you within 24 hours. Here are a few tips:*
Consider the recipient or recipients.
Did you learn anything about the company’s culture while you were there for your interview? Or maybe your recruiter gave you some insight into this particular company. Thinking from the perspective of the recipient can help you craft more effective thank you notes. For example, if the company is more formal, a hand-written note is likely the way to go. In more laid back organizations, email may be the better choice (there are other factors, as you’ll see in the next bullet, but culture is an important one to consider). Thinking about the recipient also comes into play with the content of your note. If you’ve interviewed with multiple members of a company, you’ll want to send thank you notes to each of them. You’ll also want to tailor the content of your thank you notes to each specific conversation.*
You may not have received a grade in handwriting since grade school, but penmanship really does matter when it comes to your thank you notes. You’re not making the best impression if potential employers can’t decipher the message you’re trying to convey! Messy handwriting can leave an impression of someone being disorganized or lacking an attention to detail – traits that are extremely important in just about every profession. If your handwriting can’t be improved upon, consider typing a thank you note or sending one via email instead.*
Avoid saying the wrong things.
The actual thank you note is important, but it’s what you say that has the potential to make a big impact. So while focusing on what to say is important, it’s also key to consider the things you shouldn’t say. I like the key phrases this article suggests avoiding, and this piece of advice: If someone who didn’t even participate in the interview could have written the thank you note, scrap it and start again.Taking a few minutes to craft a thoughtful and well-written thank you note can help you stay at the top of the list after your job interview is complete.
What have you found to be successful when writing thank you notes?