Thank You Letters Speak Volumes About You
While some in the new millennium might think that the classic after-interview thank you letter has gone the way of buggy whips or bonnets, think again. Given the highly competitive job market, simple, classic touches like the seemingly antiquated thank you notes can speak volumes about you to a potential employer.
- Professionalism. Employers are constantly looking for those with the “softer skills” – people skills. A well-written thank you letter shows you have the people skills to follow up and connect with a contact.
- Communication skills. There are a few key skill sets that employers typically say are most important skill sets to have. Being able to write and speak effectively is one. (Guess what the other is? See above.)
- Manners matter. While we all might not be referring to Emily Post or Miss Manners these days, manners still matter. Saying “thank you” for even the opportunity to interview for their coveted job shows you get it: you were given an opportunity to prove yourself.
- The last impression is a lingering one. We always talk about how “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” But equally important is that “last impression.” Your thank you letter – sent immediately – is your chance to not just thank the hiring manager but also a chance to sell yourself again.
- Eagerness. Some people think that “eagerness” is akin to “desperate.” And that could be true in some instances. But given the job market – it’s not a bad thing to show that you are truly enthusiastic about the opportunity and ready to jump in. Employers can hire for skill sets; but it’s hard to teach enthusiasm.
- Reminder of skill sets. Your thank you letter should NOT be the staid, canned thank you note. This is your opportunity to recap the conversation, demonstrate you heard and understood what the hiring manager was saying, and reiterate you are the ideal candidate because of your amazing skills and experiences. Not only does this demonstrate key skills such as information integration, listening skills, and selling skills, you are also highlighting your problem-solving skills (another one of the top skill sets all employers are looking for).
- Proof Reading. Make sure you proof read your thank you letter just as well as you do your resume or cover letter. Such evidence shows the care, consideration and attention to detail that every employer can appreciate.
- The Differentiator. According to some studies, less than 4% of applicants follow up with a thank you note, so if it comes down to a tie between you and someone else, no hiring manager is going to ignore a detail like who sent the thank you note and who didn’t. Don’t give them a reason to eliminate you.
There’s really no good reason not to say thank you. And you’d be surprised just how many people forget to do so – even in such vital situations as job interviews. Going this extra step in the interview process may just take you across the finish line in the race to get your next job.
Image courtesy of “iosphere” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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