Looking for an easy, yet very effective, way to differentiate yourself in a very positive way from the “competition,” i.e., others seeking the same position(s) as you, during a new job search? Simply send a timely, well-written, short “Thank You” note or email following each and every face-to-face interview with a hiring manager.
Oh, you may be saying to yourself at this point, everybody sends Thank You notes/emails after an interview, don’t they? How would that make me stand out? News flash! Fact is, the majority of job candidates do not send Thank You notes/emails; most don’t even think about sending one!
Rarely does a job search winnow down to just one candidate left standing. And that’s particularly true for the much-sought-after top professional jobs. Usually, there are two or perhaps three finalists, all of whom may essentially be of the same high caliber and possess equivalent experience and credentials. (By the way, in order for a Thank You note/email to perhaps serve as a “tie-breaker” for you, you must be in this rarified group of candidates.) At that point in the selection process, it can definitely be, and quite often is, a “little thing” that tips the scales in favor of the candidate ultimately chosen by the hiring manager. One of those little things can easily be the timely sending of a well-crafted Thank You note/email.
GOOD IDEA TO SEND NOTE AND EMAIL
During my career as a headhunter, I have seen time and time again how a timely Thank You note/email can sometimes be the difference between a candidate walking away with the job offer and joining the ranks of also-rans. As a result, our executive recruiting firm, The HTW (Hire to Win) Group, coaches all candidates presented to our hiring company clients to send both a hand-written Thank You note through snail mail and an email to the hiring manager (and any other key personnel the candidate may have interviewed with on hiring company premises). Why both? Two key reasons:
- In our current digital environment virtually any correspondence received through the U.S. Postal Service tends to stand out and be noticed—and of course actually get opened and read!
- Today’s busy hiring managers may not even get to your Thank You email for a week or more, and by then she may have already made her candidate selection. So, also sending a Thank You note through the mail merely serves as “insurance” that she will receive your Thank You note in a timely manner.
‘TIMELY’ KEY WORD HERE
There is a definite, very good reason why the word “timely” appears in the headline to this post. As is often the case in most important situations, time usually is definitely of the essence, and that’s particularly true when it comes to sending a Thank You note/email following a face-to-face job interview. How soon after the interview should you send a Thank You? The short answer is the sooner the better, but in no case should you wait longer than two to three days.
Some of our candidates actually carry blank Thank You notes in their briefcases when they go to a face-to-face interview. At the earliest opportunity they compose the note and drop it in the nearest mail drop after leaving company premises. Others, who may have flown to the interview, compose and send (if allowed by the airline) an email Thank You on their laptop, tablet or iPhone/SmartPhone on their flight back home. Others of course wait until they arrive back home to do so. The point is, just make sure you compose—and send!—the note/email within the two- to three-day time frame.
LENGTH, SAMPLE CONTENT OF NOTE/EMAIL
Most Thank You note stationery is rather small in size, so that of course limits the length of the note. But, after all, it is called a note, not a dissertation! Best advice: keep your note short, simple and to the point.
Here is an example of what you may include in your Thank You NOTE:
Just a short note to thank you for taking the time to interview me for the (position name) position at XYZ, Inc. I sincerely appreciate it. I am even more impressed with your company than when I applied for the position—and that’s saying something!
Please feel free to contact me at 123-456-7890 if I can answer any more questions for you, or if you would like additional information regarding the significant contribution I know I can make to your unit and XYZ, Inc.
If you also choose to send an email, in addition to a note (strongly recommended!), you can make the email slightly longer and go in to slightly more detail to re-sell your candidacy.
Here is an example of how you might approach a Thank You EMAIL:
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me for the (position name) position at XYZ, Inc. I sincerely appreciate it and am even more impressed with XYZ, Inc. than when I first applied—and that’s saying something!
Let me briefly restate what I can offer to your unit and company:
- (List most significant thing you have to offer)
- (List second most significant thing you have to offer)
- (List third most significant thing you have to offer)
I am very excited about this fantastic career opportunity, and I stand ready, willing and able to make a substantial contribution from day one, if I am the candidate you select for this position!
Thanks again for your time.
P.S. Please feel free to call me at 123-456-7890 if you have additional questions, or would like me to provide additional information.”
OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
I hope you can clearly see that there are no “magic” words or phraseology to be used in either (or both) Thank You communication. Use words and phraseology that best suit you and your individual personality. Just make sure your note/email is kept relatively brief, to the point, and that the tone is genuine.
One last very key consideration: Make sure you send a Thank You note/email to each supervisory man or women who interviewed you or whom you were introduced to while on company premises. And, by getting business cards from all of these people, you can guarantee you will have the correct spellings of names (a very important consideration!), as well as the email addresses of each.
Taking the time and making the effort to consistently send a timely, well-written Thank You note/email following each and every face-to-face interview brands you as a true professional who pays strict attention to detail, no matter how small. It could also be the single action that allows you to beat out the competition and walk away with the position you are seeking!