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PostHeaderIcon Job Search: Thank You Notes Matter

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I was inspired to write about the importance of post-interview thank you notes by an experience I had recently. I received an e-mail from a former co-worker and good friend who has been out of work for more than a year and frustrated that she hasn’t been able to get to the final round of interviews or get the offer.

In her e-mail, she told me she interviewed for a job that day that was a perfect fit for her and she wanted it more than any others she’s interviewed for. She asked what she could do to set her self apart with her thank you note and the 50 plus other candidates she was told she was competing against.

A well-written thank you note serves several purposes in the interviewing process:  
 1) It shows your professionalism and appreciation for the interviewer’s time.
 2) It keeps you fresh in their mind as an interested candidate.
3) It gives you the opportunity to reiterate why YOU are the best candidate for the job – a second chance to close the deal.
What I notice most about thank you notes that I receive after interviews is that most candidates tell me how much they want the job and how it would be a great opportunity for them. So they’ve made it all about THEM and what they want, when it should focus on WHAT THEY CAN DO for the hiring manager and what they bring to the company. What specific skills are they looking for that you possess? What need do they have that you can fulfill? What can you do for them that will make their job easier and their company more successful?

Remember to incorporate these 4 things into its structure to get the most out of your note:

1) Let the interviewer know how much you enjoyed meeting them:
“Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me, I enjoyed learning about the opportunity with XYZ Company”.

2) Express your enthusiasm for the company and the position itself:
“I’m excited about where XYZ Company is heading and the successes its enjoyed this past year. I know the Customer Service Manager position is a key role in helping the company continue to grow and I’m very pleased to be considered.”

3) Reiterate a specific skill or point of expertise that you have that the interviewer discussed needing during the interview, and give an example of how it helped your past employer:
“You mentioned that you really need someone who can fine-tune your customer service process to make it more efficient and a better experience for your customers. At ABC Company, I helped implement our new customer service software and overhauled our process that resulted in our customer service scores increasing by 25 percent, customer retention doubled, and we substantially increased profits last year.”
4) Establish your next point of contact:
“Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to continuing the process. I’ll contact you next week.”

The key take-away here is to remember to make it ALL ABOUT THEM and how you can fulfill their needs. My friend took this advice and sent off her Thank You’s. I received an email from her over the weekend saying she had gotten the job! I’m sure it had everything to do with the person she is and that she was a great fit for the position, but hopefully her follow-up with a sincere Thank You that focused on why she is the best candidate and how she can help the company helped separate her from the pack and seal the deal. --JYP
Julie Youngblood-Perales has been recruiting top talent nationally for Fortune 500 companies for the last 10 years. She has been a senior recruiter for Toll Brothers Home Builders in San Ramon for the last 5 years and also enjoys individually coaching and advising people who are in a career transition and job search mode. Contact her through allnewsnoblues.com at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Last Updated (Thursday, 23 June 2011 00:56)


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