After giving thanks for all of the good fortune in our lives, it's a good time to thank the people who are part of our job search. Here are some tips to make sure your message stands out.
We may not have finished off the leftovers just yet, but we just completed our nation’s 152nd official Thanksgiving since President Lincoln made it a federal holiday in 1863. It’s a lovely sentiment to pause and reflect on the bounty we already have in our lives. But do we do it often enough? In the job-search world, probably not.
The post-interview thank-you note is a common courtesy that has been stressed so often that most of us have it tattooed on our brains; it’s just something you have to do in order to be considered. But now that it’s pretty much mandatory, the thank-you note — usually in the form of an e-mail — is starting to lose its meaning. Here are some ways to make sure the thank-you note gets recognized.
Send it via snail mail. When was the last time you got a piece of mail that was not an advertisement or a bill? To get a handwritten note from anyone, even if it’s just a job candidate saying thanks for your time, will stick in an interviewer’s mind and show that you’ve gone the extra mile to show how much you want the job, without being too pushy.
Add something reinforcing you may have forgotten. Time is always limited during job interviews, so you may not get to every bullet point you wanted to get across. If so, add a line or two about an anecdote you wanted to explain in more detail or another skill that was not brought up. Just make sure that it is tied directly to the job you are seeking — you don’t want to waste time with idle pleasantries that won’t help you in the end.
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Be brief. Remember, these are just notes, not novels. Keep it to three or four paragraphs, unless you have a longer explanation about one of the points you wanted to make in the interview.
Thank your references. If an interviewer asks to see your references, you should not only alert those references in advance, you should follow up with them to let them know how your search is progressing. Even if you don’t get the job, make sure you show your appreciation for putting in a good word for you.
Send notes to new acquaintances. If you exchange business cards at a networking event, send an e-mail or card to acknowledge your connection. While these aren’t actually “thank yous,” they can have the same effect and can help someone remember your name if they find a good lead that suits your skills.