Are you using thank you notes in your job search? The road is often paved with good intentions but sometimes saving thank you is forgotten in the blur of finally having an interview or perhaps you don’t use the best strategy when you write the thank you.
A new client had me review a thank you note he sent after a recent interview. The note itself was the type many job seekers send and he had gotten some things right. We discussed what was right:
- First of all, he remembered to send a thank you. Many job seekers never do and employers I have talked to have told me that a thank you note can be the teetering point of who is selected for the next interview or who is hired.
- He got the name of the person who interviewed him. She didn’t have a business card but he did remember to ask her for one and jot down her name. Always get the name!
- He sent it promptly after the interview. Waiting a week or longer will not help you.
Then we talked about how he could have improved it. I told him that after the interview, the first thing he should do, before he even leaves the parking lot is sit down with a pad of paper and write notes. An alternative is to use an app on your Smart Phone such as Pocket Recorder or EverNote and record the points you need to remember. These are the points I suggested:
- What did you like about the company? Do they have a great product line or are they launching a new product that you really are excited about? Did they just remodel their facility? Or was their staff extra friendly and helpful? Find a good point to talk about.
- What do you bring to the table that correlates well with their products or services. This is the time to reinforce your value.
- What is their pain? Every company is challenged by something. Your job before the interview was to figure it out so that you could point out how you could help with their issues. If their sales are dropping, you could point out how in company XYZ, you were able to boost sales by x%. If their costs are too high, you can share how changing this process at XYZ company, saved the company X%. You get the idea. Find what their issues are and show them how you can be the solution.
- Finally, close by telling them that you would love to be the solution to their problems and you welcome the next step in the process.
Now you have delivered not just a thank you note but an effective job proposal that resells you to the employer.