Say your “please’s” and “thank you’s”, please!
My momma raised me to send thank you letters, whether it was for the gifts I’d received as a child all the way up to making sure I followed up promptly after my first job interviews in high school. And I still do this, all the time as seems appropriate.
I can’t tell you how many times both friends and employers or work colleagues have said to me, “It was so unexpected (or unnecessary, or both) but so nice (thoughtful, above & beyond) to receive your thank you note!” It’s a nice way to be remembered in people’s minds, too, for being appreciative, courteous and professional.
An important success factor in job search (and getting offers!), is to stand out among your competition. One simple, quick way you can do that is to send a thank you letter after an interview.
As a Hiring Manager for large retail corporation, who is a friend of mine, said:
Personally, I think a THANK YOU letter is an awesome idea. I have hired most of the people I got them from, however, I have received them from less than 5% of all applicants. I do not believe anyone would hurt their chance of being hired by thanking someone for consideration.
So please, say thank you!
Send a letter after every interview, or, at least the ones you are even remotely interested in pursuing. Even if you are not, it’s still classy & professional to send one anyway, and who knows when the networking contact may come in handy. Always make a positive impression.
Here are some other tips on writing a professional and sincere
thank you letter as a follow up to an interview:
- Send an email, or, even a typed, business style letter. I am still sometimes asked if they should be typed or can they be handwritten. You are always safe with a simple, typed business style letter. Nowadays, email is more than acceptable, and even your first choice. Occasionally, a plain, conservative thank you card can also be appropriate, though quickly becoming both unnecessary and outdated, depending on the organization, your experience there, and level of familiarity with the interviewers.
- Make sure you spell the recipient’s name(s) correctly. The trick is to get business cards from the interviewers when you leave, or, check with the receptionist on the way out.
- Communicate sincere gratitude. In other words, avoid using the ‘thank you letter’ as another vehicle to slip in additional sales pitch information about yourself. If you absolutely forgot to share some vital bit of experience or skill, consider carefully whether to include it in the same letter, or whether it is more appropriate to call, or even send a separate letter.
- Include a brief recap of the interview experience (this jogs their memory of which candidate you are). I like to add in something I learned about the job, company, or interview that I particularly enjoyed, was impressed by, or excited about. Again, this detail helps you stand out in the reader’s mind.
- Reiterate that you are interested in the job. Close with something like “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” instead of “I hope to hear from you soon.” The former implies a gentle confidence that they will, in fact, contact you; the later subtly implies doubt, lack of confidence. If you are ‘hoping’ to hear from them, it becomes possible you will not. Avoid conditional language like that.
- Send the letter that day or the next day after the interview. Again, this is where email is great. In the old days, I was recommended faxing it, can you imagine that anymore? Depending on the circumstance, job, and company, mailing a thank you the old fashioned way can be an extra touch, but rarely if ever expected, nor will it likely win you bonus points.
If you’d like to see a sample thank you letter as a model, click here.
Short and simple, but memorable is your goal. You will thank me for convincing you to send these.
For more great resume and job search tips –
From Ask a Manager about this book: “If you’ve ever wished that you could look into the brain of a hiring manager to find out what you need to do to get hired, How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager is for you.
Written from my perspective as a long-time hiring manager, this e-book gives you step-by-step guidance through every stage of your job search … explaining at each step what a hiring manager is thinking and what they want to see from you …”