Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Thank You Letters – The Hidden Jewel of the Job Hunt Process

Finding a new job is an exhausting process.  You search for jobs on all the major boards (and some not so major), you apply for job after job (always with a cover letter tailored to each job description) and then wait for the email from the recruiter.  They set up the initial phone screen, and you crush it.  You then interview with the hiring manager and nail it.  Now you wait for the offer from Human Resources to come through.  You wait.  You wait.  You wait.  And then you receive the email but it’s not an offer, it’s a thank you for your time, but they decided on another candidate.  You quickly think back to your process trying to figure out how this could happen when you received such good vibes from the conversation with the hiring manager?  There are several things you can do to prepare for a job hunt; clean up your online presence, have your resume and cover letter professionally written, attend an interview prep workshop, buy a new suit and shoes, get a haircut and manicure.  All of these things can help you prepare to put your best foot forward, but one of the most overlooked pieces of this process is the post-interview thank you letter.  That can be the difference between you and another candidate being selected for a position yet there are many who have either never sent one because they weren’t aware of it or don’t see the importance of the thank you letter.

Thank you letters are so easy to do and are worth their weight in gold.  Everyone likes to be thanked.  A simple show of appreciation is always welcome, and if it is sincere, it can make an impact on your relationship with the recipient.  Thank you notes should be crafted and sent 24 hours after your interview with the hiring manager.  They should be brief and to the point, highlighting why you are the perfect candidate for the position.  Thank them for their time and if it is a job you want, make sure you clearly state your interest.  When you question the interviewer, include a question that asks what some of the challenges the hiring manager currently faces, and then include how you would resolve them (briefly) in your letter. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate if they don’t send a thank-you note after the interview. Fifty-six percent said it shows that the candidate isn’t really serious about the position, and a whopping 86% said it shows a lack of follow-through.  Since there is no way of knowing if the person you are dealing with find value in them there is no reason at all to skip over this part of the process.  

There are several templates available on the internet, and we have a sample available for you to use for free from DE Employment Solutions by clicking here.  Before you send the email, make sure you have at least one person proofread it for you.  When you read it yourself, you may add the words in your head that you meant for the email but never actually made it to the page.  Spellcheck is obvious and Grammarly or some other second level writing tool will be a real bonus.  Use the thank you letter to remind the hiring manager what a great applicant you are, and to show how much you care.