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Job Seekers: Don’t Forget Your Manners

10 March
by Careerminds
4 minute read

By Brittany Richter
Careerminds Consultant

What do you picture when you read the title of this post? A parent? A grandparent? A finger wag at which point you roll your eyes? We’ve been told to not forget our manners since we were kids, but it is for good reason. Remembering your manners and following up an interview with a handwritten or typed thank you note may be the deciding factor between you and another candidate that forgets their p’s and q’s.  Not sending a thank you can leave the impression that you are lazy, apathetic, pretentious or uninterested.

Much like everything else involved in the career transition process, it’s not only important that you complete certain steps, but that you execute them well.

Here are some tips for writing a great, post-interview thank you note:

#1 Time is of the essence: It is crucial that you send this note ASAP; and by ASAP we mean within 24 hours. It is in your best interest to purchase the card, envelope and stamp ahead of time so that once you return from the interview, you can fill it out and drop it in the mail. It is also important that you write the note while it is still fresh in your memory, and that they receive it when it is still fresh in theirs. If time is really an issue, then you may opt for an e-mail rather than a handwritten note.

Note: E-mail has become the accepted way of sending a thank you note, but there is
something to be said for the handwritten note. Keep that in mind.

#2 Begin with a sincere thank you: After all, that is the purpose of the note so you want to be sure to communicate that from the very beginning. Although the thank you note is your final opportunity to sell yourself, you do not want it to come across as a nuisance or sounding too much like a sales pitch. Bottom line: keep it simple and sincere.

#3 Keep your interviewer in mind: You probably wouldn’t write the same exact thank you note to a junior-level creative copywriter that you would to an experienced  CEO. Ask yourself: how did the conversation go? What was the tone? What was his or her personality like? What were the key things that he or she mentioned that are important in terms of filling this position? It is important that you tailor your note to the specific organization, job and interviewer. The more you can do that, the more of an impact your note will have.

Caution: This works both ways. Don’t try too hard or write too informal of a note. Make sure to be specific, but remain professional.

Note: Each interviewer you are interviewed by should each receive their own, personalized note.

Tip: During the interview process you should try to get a business card from each person you’ve talked to. If you’re reading this after the interview, check the company website for photos and contact information.

#4 Remind the interviewer:  Your interviewer may have interviewed several candidates, and the thank you note is your opportunity to remind him or her of your interest and qualifications. Don’t go in to too much detail. One sentence that communicates your interest and one that briefly lists your qualifications will be just enough to remind them without going overboard. Show that you are interested, but not desperate: Be sure that when you are listing your qualifications and communicating your enthusiasm that you don’t come across as desperate for the job. Excited, passionate, truly believing you are a perfect fit… great. Begging, badgering… not so great.

 

#5 Triple-check everything: Make sure to proofread your thank you note several times, checking for more than just general spelling and grammatical mistakes (although those are important to catch, too!) Make sure that you have the names correct and that they are spelled correctly. Missteps like that will not leave a favorable impression.

 

Sample Thank You Note:

Dear [Interviewer’s Name],

Thank you so much for your time and the privilege to interview for the [Title] position at [Company] on [Date]. [Company] seems like a great place to work, learn and grow, and I very much look forward to hearing back from you!

Coming in to the interview I was impressed by [something they do that differentiates them from their competitors], and after meeting with you I am further impressed by [something you learned during the interview]. It was a pleasure meeting you and your team and you made the interview process enjoyable, which was a pleasant surprise.

I truly believe that I could be a worthwhile addition to your team. I think that my personal experience with [3-4 experiences, skills, knowledge, traits] could help you meet your goals of [their goals as they communicated them to you, or that you can find on their website].

Since I left on [Day] I can't help but to keep thinking about [something that would be relevant to the position you applied for], and I've come up with a few ideas for how to [activity] and help [Company] reach its goals. I hope to be able to share these with you.

Thank you again and I very much look forward to hearing about your decision.

Sincerely,
[Your Full Name]

[Your Title]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]

 

HR Professionals, Recruiters - Any thoughts or additional tips or ideas? Do you agree that the thank-you note or e-mail is important?

Job Seekers: Did you find this helpful? Is there something we left out?

 

 

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Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.

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