Job Seeker’s Tip: Thank-you Notes
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Recently, SJA presented three candidates to a client whose technical qualifications were very similar. After the first round of interviews, all three were excited to go back for a second meeting. Our client, saw them all as viable candidates, but wanted to narrow the field to two. They came to the conclusion that since two of the job-seekers had sent thank-you notes, they were more serious about the position than the third candidate, who had neglected to do so. Candidate #3 was eliminated from consideration.
Following an interview, a simple hand-written thank-you note can wield considerable power and influence, and really boost your candidacy for the position: Here’s why:
1. Common courtesy and respect.
People often neglect to acknowledge one another’s time and effort. Sending a thank-you note lets the interviewer know that you appreciate the time that you have been given.
2. It has become such an uncommon practice that you will automatically differentiate yourself.
Fewer than half of applicants send thank-you notes after an interview. This allows thoughtful candidates the opportunity to shine simply by putting forth the effort to do so. Strange, but true.
3. A thank-you note lets you reiterate points made during the interview.
In the limited amount of time that an interview provides, candidates often feel that they are unable to truly emphasize those aspects that they are most proud of. After using the first paragraph to thank the interviewer, use a brief second paragraph to restate the key points from your interview.
4. A thank-you note allows you to make points you forgot to make in your interview.
Sometimes it isn’t until the ride home that you realize that you forgot to mention that you have an MBA. This Monday-morning-quarterbacking will get you nowhere, but a thank-you note can address this quite easily. The second paragraph can include an admission such as “After our discussion, it occurred to me that I did not mention ____________.”
5. A thank-you note demonstrates your written communication skills.
As a sales or marketing professional, your ability to communicate effectively is your livelihood. The interviewer will be interested to see how you come across in print. This is why it is important to triple-check for spelling and punctuation. Have a friend read over it once as well to ensure quality.