In a recent survey, an astonishing 90% of job seekers do not write thank you notes after an interview. Knowing that, a simple note is a huge opportunity to set yourself apart from the other applicants.
Let’s talk about how to leverage the simple thank you note to your advantage:
What to write:
A thank you note does not need to be a 40-bullet whitepaper on why you are the best candidate for the job. It should be concise, relevant to the interview, and highlight why you are a fit for the company and/or what you can bring to the table. If a concern for your qualifications came up during the interview (for example, a lack of industry experience) you can address it to downplay those concerns. Most importantly, thank them for their time & express your interest in the job.
Here is an example:
Dear Mr. Vandelay,
Thank you for investing your time interviewing me for your Director of Sales at Vandelay Industries. Based on our conversation and what I now know about the role, I believe my proven expertise in building sales teams make me a great fit for the role. I am confident I can quickly make an impact and contribute to the continued success of the company. Hopefully you feel the same way. Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to the next step in the interview process.
PS: Go Yankees!
Thank You Note Best Practices:
For screening phone interviews with Human Resources: Email a thank you note after an initial interview with HR. If you do not have the caller's email, you can ask at the end of the interview.
If they screen 15 candidates and you are the only one that send a note over, you will increase your chances of advancing to the hiring manager. Get them on your side and they will advocate on your behalf.
For a phone interview with the hiring manager: Email or hard copy. See below.
For In-Person Interviews: It’s OK to ask for a business card. Once you have a card, you will have their email and address. Most managers find email thank you notes acceptable. I advocate an email only if the company intends to decide THAT DAY, based on the urgency. The BEST strategy is to hand-write a note (or type it if your handwriting is just that bad) and either mail the note or drop it off at the front desk either immediately after the interview or within the next 24 hours.
It might seem old-school and less efficient than an email but hear me out – How many emails do you get a day? How many pieces of personal mail do you get at the office? A few per year? Try to send an individual note to everyone you interviewed with. Anyone you interviewed with can potentially veto you, so take the time. I
Additionally, if you had help getting the interview (a referral from a friend, for example) do not forget to send them a thank you note as well.
Things to avoid:
Do not wait more than 24 hours – it sends the message that your ability to follow-through is terrible. Do not apologize for a bad interview: “I’m sorry I was not prepared/my blood sugar was low/I had a cold.” Something you might have thoughtglaring might not have been noticed by them, and highlighting it will not do you any favors. Also, it is NOT appropriate to send a thank you text or call the manager.
What to do when you are not moving forward:
If you are not moving forward in the interview process, you should still send a note. Sending a note solidifies you as professional & classy, and can keep you top of mind in the future. Who knows, maybe you were a close second and their top choice doesn’t work out? Maybe another position that would be a better fit for you comes open. Staying professional, even when you may not get an immediate benefit, will only help your personal brand in the long run.
A box of thank you notes and a book of stamps won’t set you back much, and writing a thoughtful note only takes a little time. Adding this simple step to your job search will pay dividends in the long run.
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