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.
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 Do
Now, 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 Way
Occasionally, 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.”
“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.
The Timing Of The Thank You Note
Another important factor for a successful thank you note is timing. Most hiring mangers these days are likely to expect a quick feedback. I, therefore, usually recommend sending a thank you note within 24 hours after the actual interview.
This way you can also be sure that the hiring manager’s memory of you is still fresh and vivid.
Are you still not sure about your thank you note? Feel free to drop me a line and I will be happy to get back to you! I also provide free resume checks. Simply contact me via my website: www.windhof-communications.com
About the author
Tim Windhof is a published and enthusiastic Resume Writer and Career Coach who is fascinated by helping people take their careers to the next level. Tim is a resume expert and educator for the American Writers and Artists, Inc. and their Resume Writer Training program. Tim has written interview-yielding resumes for clients from the US, Canada, India, Australia, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock