Have you ever wondered if thank you letters are really necessary anymore? Related: How To Write The Best Job Interview Thank You Note One hiring manager called me a few days after a phone interview with a candidate. The manager believed the person was qualified but wasn’t sure she wanted to move forward with the process. She hadn’t received a thank you note and found out that the person hadn’t even asked for her email address (to send a note). That piece of information confirmed the hiring manager’s belief that this person wasn’t The One.
A good thank you note will not change your qualifications for the job, but it can tip the scale in your favor if it’s down to you and another candidate. If used properly, it can also improve your standing from how you performed during the interview. Related: What To Say In A Thank You Card Besides 'Thank You' The best thank you notes don’t simply say, “Thank you for your time. It was nice meeting you.” Take it as an opportunity to remind the employer that you have what it takes to deliver results for the job. You can also consider touching on things that are important, but that you didn’t get a chance to or didn’t do adequately during the interview. If there was a specific challenge or problem the employer brought up during the interview. Put some extra thought into it, and briefly address it with a premise for a solution. You may also bring up experience under a similar scenario and mention that you would be open to discussing it further. A job candidate who takes extra time to craft a meaningful thank you follow-up note doesn’t only impress, but is memorable. So, here are some general tips to crafting and submitting the best thank you follow-up note.
- Send a separate note to each individual you met with and keep the message different for each contact. Clearly, there were highlights to the conversation you can build on with each individual.
- Distribute the thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. Employers also see a more personalized touch when a hand-written message is sent, so after getting the email out separately send out a personalized thank you card.
- Address key points – Start by expressing appreciation for the meeting, think about highlights from the meeting, and recap on how and why you make a good fit for the job; consider adding additional information you didn’t get a chance to touch on or didn’t adequately address, and complete your message expressing excitement on the next steps to the interview process.
Related PostsHow To Follow Up After An Interview How Much Follow Up Is Too Much? The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist
About the authorDon Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Preparing a resume and getting ready for the big interview are both incredibly tense situations for first-time job seekers. And unfortunately, these are only the first steps towards employment that can cause applicants to cringe. Knowing how to properly follow up after an interview is another essential part of the application process − and successful job seekers can connect with their interviewers well after their respective big days. Related: 6 Tips For Following Up After A Job Interview
Make A Meaningful “Thank You" MessageIt's standard procedure these days to follow up each interview with a “thank you" note which conveys that you appreciate their time and interest (even if you flubbed the interview or they were late / apathetic.) But what many fail to recognize is that this letter shouldn't just be a professional courtesy. Every aspect of the job application process, from building a resume to writing back after the interview is through, should be designed to illustrate one thing: that you're the ideal candidate for the job. If your letter isn't doing that, then you're just wasting a stamp. To make your follow-up effective, keep these tips in mind. Convey these three things: Your interest in the position, what makes you stand out from other applicants, and what you learned from your interview. Many templates address each of these points in separate paragraphs, but the important part is that your letter seems natural and sincere. Get to the point! If your letter goes for more than a few short paragraphs, you won't exactly demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively. Effective communication is a must for many fields, especially those seeking employment with a marketing degree in hand. Refrain from stuffy or robotic rhetoric. Connect with your interviewer on a human level by demonstrating your genuine appreciation and your personality – just keep it professional. No matter what line of work you're in, punctuality is a universal professional responsibility. Get that letter out to them no less than 24 hours after the interview if you want to leave an impression that you're responsible. If writing a letter isn't something you can easily fit in your schedule, you might want to bring up how you could follow up with them at the end of your interview. If you already have their number or if it is readily available, it might be wise to ask if they can accept calls later at the end of your interview. But never simply ignore follow-up entirely, no matter what your situation might be.
Handling Further Follow-UpMany of us resort of obsessively checking our e-mail Inboxes and lingering near our telephones to wait for word from potential employers. But it turns out that this wait-and-watch mentality can actually get in the way of our job prospects if you're being more patient than you should be. While being stubborn and persistent can certainly be self-defeating for job seekers, it can be equally bad for applicants if they fail to follow-up when an interviewer fails to get back to them within a given timeline. Generally, waiting one day after the deadline passes in which you were supposed to have heard back is the ideal time to do your initial follow-up. A job seeker who is told that they'd hear back within a “few days" should certainly reach out if a week passes. Being prompt demonstrates your punctuality, while tardy follow-up or a lack of any continued messages can be seen as disinterest. Your follow-up should start by courteously referencing the deadline that your interviewer provided you. This gives your follow-up credibility and allows the people in charge of hiring to take responsibility for the deadlines they provided you. In addition to reaching out to remind them of your interview, it can also be highly effective to demonstrate your professional interest and insight by referencing a blog post or industry event relevant to developments in the industry you're looking to be a part of. This gives your message actual value to the person in charge of hiring that you're reaching out to, and it conveys your sincere interest in the field. Remain diligent with your follow-up in a timely, predictable manner. Sporadic or quick follow-up can be seen as rude and desperate, whereas a professional nudge now and then can be far more effectively received. Following up on a weekly or bi-weekly basis once your deadline is over is advisable until hearing back. Finally, avoid negativity or insinuations while following up. If more than a month passes and you've yet to hear back, it might be time to call it day on that possibility. While it can be frustrating to not hear back from a potential employer, it's always better to take a detour on your path towards professional success by applying elsewhere than burn any bridges. It takes professionalism and diligence to establish your reputation as a reliable applicant, and maintaining a positive and friendly outlook can pay off in spades in the long run. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
Related PostsHow To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions Top 3 Tips For Phone Interviews How Much Follow Up Is Too Much?
Have you ever felt frustrated after an interview? Sure you have! I know you’ve mentally gone over your interview answers and you remember what you DID NOT say, and you realize you missed an opportunity to REINFORCE your candidacy. Well, this is what to say in a thank you card. Related: Mastering The Art (And Science) Of Thank You Letters Of course, it all depends on how badly you’ve screwed things up. Sometimes, there is no backpedaling, but let’s assume for a moment you can recoup or cement your candidacy... what then do you say in your thank you letter besides thank you? The problem with most thank you letters is they are usually prepared as just a nice gesture. Saying thank you is a very nice thing to do; it does go a long way, but if written as an ordinary thank you, it is not strategic enough to add another dimension to your candidacy... it leverages not an additional qualifier and doesn’t elevate your interview performance. In other words, use your thank you opportunity as a last marketing tool in order to gain a competitive distinction.
What To Say In A Thank You CardHere are a few things you can do to take advantage of the follow-up (thank you) opportunity. Remember, now you have "insider" information you didn't have prior to the interview - don’t waste it.
When Your Interviewer Shared A ConcernIf during the interview process you were told the perfect candidate must meet XYZ and you discussed your lack in one of these areas - you need to talk about this again! Concisely bring it up, reiterate why this would not be a problem, and, in fact, promote how, despite this "weakness," you are the PERFECT candidate.
When You Did Not Say What You Should Have SaidAt times, we reflect and in retrospect recognize where we failed. Well, this is your opportunity. Bring up the topic and say you would like to elaborate, you would like to expand; you had time to think about this and want to convey the following.
When You Think You Sensed ApprehensionThis is a bit risky because you could be wrong. Yet, what is life if not risky? If you are very good at ascertaining needs and you KNOW you identified a problem, “smooth" it out! Please do not say you think the interviewer did not understand... you NEVER want to convey you assume to know what others think but you can discuss what YOU failed to communicate. You can state you would like to clarify a point you wish you had emphasized.
When You Really Just Want To Say, 'Thank You'There are times when you were FANTASTIC during an interview and you sincerely just want to say, "Thanks!" Nevertheless, you don’t know how your competition performed and you are not privy as to what kind of thank you letter they are preparing. So, in this case, thank them but fortify your candidacy even further. You could...
- Accentuate three of your top qualifications as discussed during the interview. Now you have more information than you did prior to the interview - put it to work for you! Connect your qualifications with employer needs expressed during the interview.
- Bring up information they shared about the company and express how much more interested you became.
- Sell them again on the bottom-line goal they need to achieve via your employment. Seal the deal by promising to deliver.
Keep This Thank You Letter ConciseWhile a sales tool, it does not have to be as elaborate as your resume or cover letter. Remember, the entire job search process is a strategic marketing effort; leverage every tool and maximize every opportunity. This post was originally published on an earlier date.
Related PostsHow To Follow Up After An Interview How Much Follow Up Is Too Much? The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist Photo Credit: Shutterstock
As an active job candidate, you have several chances to impress your prospective employer. A sharp resume with a customized cover letter will lay your groundwork. The interview itself will provide many chances to showcase how and why you are the perfect match for the position. But you can do even more. Related: What To Say In A Thank You Card Besides ‘Thank You’ A unique “thank you” letter or email can reinforce the strong impression you already made. But, you might wonder, are hiring managers really going to appreciate a thank you letter? The answer is, some might not, some will, and some might even expect a thank you note. Now, in my world everything is about increasing my clients’ chances to land that job, and if there is even only a small chance that a thank you note will increase their chances, I will consider it a “must."
Not Any Thank You Note Will DoNow, we know that a comprehensive and thorough job campaign requires a follow-up thank you note. However, don’t be tempted to write a generic and wishy washy thank you note in which you write fluff like “how excited you are about the position” or “how you believe to be a good fit." A stellar thank you note will seamlessly link to the previous interview conversation and gives you the chance to reiterate and elaborate some specifics discussed. This way you can demonstrate that you are an active listener who is capable of learning and addressing the company’s needs. Be as specific as you can. Did the hiring manager mention a new software implementation or the opening of a new office downtown? If so, address these issues and show how you can be of help with the new software implementation or opening the new downtown location. You also have to make sure that you do not drift into a suppliant tone at any time. The hiring manager will not choose you for your politeness but for your showcased competency.
Avoid Drawing Attention In A Negative WayOccasionally, you might have discussed certain weaknesses in your profile for the specific position during the interview (you might be short on industry specific work experience or lack a certain certification, etc…). Do not make the mistake here to draw attention to these weaknesses in your thank you note. Just like in your resume and cover letter, you will want to emphasize your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. Think about a slick car salesman for a minute. What will he say at the end of his sales talk:
“You had mentioned that the mileage is somewhat high, but I am confident that the car will nevertheless be a good fit for your needs.” OR “With 650 horsepower and turbo All-Wheel-Drive, there is no competitor in its class for heavy duty off-road trucks."I am sure we all know the answer here.