How Important Are Thank You Notes in Executive Job Search?

by Meg Guiseppi on July 27, 2015

Job seekers these days seem to pay less attention to good manners and etiquette through the job search process  . . .

Which makes these positive qualities an even more powerful asset to those who always display them.

People with particularly good manners stand out above those who don’t bother or never really learned how.

executive branding and thank you notes

Here’s a piece of advice to job seekers at every level – from the c-suite to entry-level:

Buy a few boxes of quality thank notes and plenty of postage stamps, and start using them regularly.

Yes, I mean good old-fashioned paper note cards.

Savvy job seekers send personalized hand-written thank you’s to just about everyone they interact with in their job search – everyone involved in interviews, people in their network who provide introductions, employers and colleagues who write recommendations, etc.

With an estimated mere 5% or so of job seekers sending thank you’s after interviews, the impact for those who take advantage of this little-used strategy can be significant.

I often hear stories about job seekers who didn’t get the job, but sent thank you notes anyway, and eventually landed the job when the first hire didn’t work out. Employers were that impressed with the fact that they had sent thank you notes.

In a pinch, emailed thank you’s are okay, and sometimes the only option if timing is a factor, but they just don’t have the impact a snail-mailed one does.

Think about the last time you received any kind of hand-written note in the mail. Didn’t it make you feel good – that someone took the time and consideration to sit down, pen some thoughts, and pop it in the mail?

7 Ways Thank You Notes Can Help You Land The Job:

1. They allow you to thank interviewers once again for their time.

2. They keep you top-of-mind as a good-fit candidate.

3. They allow you to mention highlights of the interview conversation and reiterate your interest in the position and the company.

4. They provide an opportunity to once more reinforce your personal brand and value proposition for that company.

5. They provide an opportunity to bring up information you poorly addressed or forgot in the interview.

6. They provide an opportunity to ask about the next step in the interview process.

7. They can be the make-or-break deciding factor in you landing at that company sometime in the future.

Tips to make the best impression with your thank you notes:

 Get the full name, correct spelling, and title of each interviewer. Collecting everyone’s business cards is a great way to do this.

 Take a little time right after the interview to jot down the following:

  • Critical questions they asked.
  • Your answers that had a positive impact, captured their attention, and/or represented important skills to meet the company’s current challenges.
  • The concerns about you they voiced.
  • Items you forgot to mention in the interview.

Also:

  • Remember to personalize the content in each note. Don’t copy exactly the same information in every one. These people may share the notes you sent them.
  • DON’T write the note before the interview and hand it to the employer at the end of the interview.
  • Remember to sign the letter.
  • Because the distribution of mail at some workplaces is slow, it may be best to immediately send an email thank you, followed by a hand-written one. The second thank you they receive is another gentle way to stay top-of-mind with potential employers.

Beyond the interview process, remember to send thank you’s to people in your network who helped you. Acknowledging your appreciation can make all the difference in keeping you and your personal brand top-of-mind with them for opportunities they hear about that may be a good fit for you.

This article was originally posted on Work Coach Cafe.

More About Executive Job Search and Job Interviews

How to Brand Your Executive Job Interviews and Land the Gig

Executive Interview: What Questions Do YOU Ask?

Power Pose to Ace Executive Job Interviews

10 Executive Job Interview Body Language Mistakes

What’s Your Executive Career Brand Story?

How to Build Personal Brand Content for Executive Job Search

Best Ways and Places to Research Your Target Employers

graphic on Pixabay

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