The Oft Forgotten Job Search Step: The Thank You
You’re doing well. You’ve written a killer cover letter and resume. You got an interview and feel like you’ve aced it. Now you just sit back and wait for the offer to come in. Wellllll…not quite. Your next step is to write and send a thank you note.
The thank you note is often neglected which is exactly why you should do one. Others don’t and anything that will give you an edge is always a good idea. So send a proper thank you within 24 hours of your interview, and because you are sending one, make sure you get the name(s) of the person(s) that interview you. Make a note of their name (be sure of the spelling), or better yet, ask for a business card. The thank you note can be an email (preferred method) or a simple handwritten card. If it’s handwritten, use your best handwriting so it can be understood because you’re not going to simply say thanks.
The post interview thank you needn’t be long, but it should contain a few items:
· How much you appreciated meeting with them (here’s your thank you).
· Something specific that was discussed in the interview (refer to the notes you took).
· Why you are excited/interested in the opportunity.
· Brief explanation as you why you are a good fit.
· Next steps and your contact information.
It seems like a lot, but it can be rendered in a few short statements. For example…
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me about the
IT position and giving me additional insight into the position. I
would be thrilled to use my project management skills to benefit
IT Corporation and its goals, including the new software development
project you will be starting in the near future.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me at (474) 555-5500 if you have
any additional questions. I look forward to hearing from you.
Keep the note to 150 words or less, and you are golden. You should also send a thank you after any additional interviews.
So why are you going through the trouble of writing a thank you note? Well as I mentioned before, many people skip this step so you will stand out from the crowd by doing one. Also it shows courtesy and respect to those you took the time to read your cover letter and resume as well as to interview you. It gives you the opportunity to reiterate points made during the interview such as a particular skill and/or a project discussed. You can also mention something you forgot to bring up that is important like a skill, achievement, etc. Lastly, it shows off your written communication skills. The interviewer/hiring manager will look at it as a sample of your writing abilities and style so craft it carefully ensuring there are no errors.
A thank you note post interview is a simple way to get your candidacy shifted to the top of the pile. It could mean the difference between being hired or discarded from the list. Since it doesn’t take much time and can mean so much, why not do one?