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HOW TO MAKE YOUR JOB SEARCH "THANK YOU" NOTE STAND OUT

They do not receive the same degree of attention as résumés and cover letters, but thank you notes are an essential part of the job search process. It is common courtesy to thank an interviewer for their time and consideration at the conclusion of an interview, but you really need to do more than that.

It can be intimidating to know that numerous other candidates are after the same job. While sending a thank you note may seem unimportant, it often makes a real difference. Spending just a few minutes on this thoughtful gesture has the real potential of moving you to the front of the line.

Like every part of your job search, the contents of a thank you note require careful consideration.

BE OLD FASHIONED

When choosing your thank you note stationery, avoid anything that is overly flowery. Make sure there is also plenty of space to write neatly and comfortably. Keep your writing formal and in a style similar to your cover letter. Send the completed note as soon as possible after the interview.

Emailed thank you letters are the easiest, but carry less weight. By using pen and paper, you are showing your appreciation in a manner that is not the fastest and most convenient. The average human resources employee can receive hundreds of emails a day from job seekers – they receive very few “snail mail” letters.

TAILOR IT TO THE COMPANY AND SITUATION

That said, you can also play it safe by sending both an email and a traditional written note. This is a good strategy if you got the impression the company was close to making a decision.

If the position you seek is at a firm centered largely on technology and innovation, then an email is a must. It doesn’t hurt to also send a written note as a back-up. The pen and ink version is a demonstration of your writing skills outside of the computer environment.

BE REMEMBERED FOR BEING CREATIVE

Your letter stands out if you mention something important from the interview. Use this opportunity to remind the interviewer of a strength you emphasized, and that you are still interested in working for them.

This is also a chance to mention anything you forgot. For example, you remembered to stress your strength as a team player, but overlooked the praise you received for solo work. Let the interviewer know about this versatility.

First and foremost, the letter shows you took the time to compose something original. Never “pre-write” your thank you or use the same one with multiple employers.

DON'T BE A SORE LOSER

You found out you didn’t get the job, so that’s that, right? Wrong. Send a thank you note anyway expressing your appreciation that they considered you.
Just because you were not the first choice does not mean they don’t think highly of you. If the person they chose does not work out, you could be the candidate they turn to next. Remind them once again that you are still interested.

Landing that all-important job interview is about getting the employer’s attention by advertising your skills. The interview allows you to discuss your talents further and learn about the company and the role. A thank you letter extends the conversation by reminding the employer of your talents and interest in working for them. Don’t let a great job experience potentially slip by because you didn’t spend a few extra minutes sincerely thanking your interviewer!

LET'S GET STARTED

Grad girl looking back and smilingTo learn more about our job-search strategies, visit our Career Servcies section to find out how we can help you become a job-ready graduate!

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