As humans, sometimes we get stressed out thinking about things that are often out of our control. When you are on the job search, it is easy to fall victim to this, but it is a crucial time to focus on controlling what we can control. In this case, it is your research, preparation and readiness for the interview. Another, often forgotten, piece that you can control is your follow-up post-interview.
It has been nearly two years since we covered this topic, but it remains a very important component of job seeking. With the job search turning digital (searching on job boards, one-click applies, LinkedIn, digital resumes, etc.), it seems that a handwritten follow-up in the form of a thank-you note has become obsolete. However, that cannot be further from the truth.
According to ICIMS’ Class of 2018 Jobs Outlook report, just a quarter of entry-level job applicants typically sent a thank-you note after completing a job interview in 2017. Considering the competitive nature of a job search, it is hard enough to stand out to employers. One of the easiest ways to do this is by sending a thank-you note after your interview.
Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster.com, said sending a thank-you note is critical. “There is no reason in this day and age why you’re not sending a thank-you note. The hiring manager expects one, and it’s peculiar if you don’t send it.”
In an article for CNBC, Jill Cornfield provides some tips to make sure your thank-you note stands out.
Don’t Forget To Spell Check
Nothing can derail your chances quicker than spelling errors in your resume/cover letter, but the same rings true for your thank-you note. Regardless of whether or not you hand-write your letter, you can type it out and run spellcheck to ensure accuracy. According to Salemi, “It’s almost better not to send a thank-you than one that’s filled with errors.”
Create A Thank-You Template
Not a very creative person? Luckily for you, there are templates for just about anything online: resumes, cover letters and even thank-you notes. You will save yourself a ton of time and stress after the interview if you create a mostly-written thank-you template. If you decide to create a template for yourself, you must take the time to review it before sending to ensure you have included correct names and relevant information from the interview.
Send Notes To Everyone
Cornfield recommends acknowledging everyone who spent time with you at the interview in a separate email. While these notes don’t have to be very long, they should include a personal touch. You can include something that you talked about in your meeting, which would show the individual that you were listening and cared about the conversation.
Don’t Forget About Snail Mail
It is tempting to send an email right after your interview because it is instant. However, a hand-written note goes a long way. That said, you can absolutely still send an email, but replicate your message in a hand-written note and send it to the person. Not only does it add a personal touch, but it can really help you stand out and show that you care about the role and opportunity.
Write A Few Sentences
Your notes don’t have to be lengthy. In fact, the more concise the better. All you need to include is some enthusiasm for the position and make sure you write in full sentences.
In the days of email signatures and text messaging, ending a note can be an afterthought. When it comes to thank-you notes, you should end it with a formal sign-off. Examples include: “Sincerely,” “Best Wishes,” and “Thank You.” Even if you never use these in your day-to-day correspondence, it will make you appear professional to the hiring manager.
It may also be tempting to keep it light-hearted and end your note with a casual sign-off. Salemi notes that many early-career jobseekers fall into this category. “The tone of the email should be a little more formal. I’ve never seen anyone not get a job for being dressed to formally or being too formal in their follow-up emails.”
As technology continues to have an effect on the job search, there are some things that will always remain consistent: a resume, cover letter and follow-up. While the third item has been under debate and may seem obsolete, it can make the difference between getting hired and getting forgotten. You would be surprised how few people take the time to send a thank-you note and how it can actually push you closer to getting hired.