It's that time of year again where demonstrating acts of gratitude and giving back to our community is at its peak. The holidays are recognized for remembrance, appreciation and giving thanks. As a talent manager, applicants reach out to me all four seasons of the year asking for assessment prior to sending their thank you notes to prospective employers. It may appear an easy task, but this is one crucial step in the job placement process that requires as much attention to detail as the interview itself. Here is my top 3 list in "Giving Thanks"
Step 1: Giving Thanks in a Digitally Savvy Culture
If you are in the running for a corporate position with a quick timeline to hire, the U.S. Postal Service may take up to 48 hours to deliver your note. While stationary gives a personalized touch, sending a well structured e-mail may be the way to go to ensure your enthusiasm arrives in a timely fashion. If you are applying for a position at a collegiate institution, or for a role that has just begun its interview process, sending a personalized note demonstrates you took the time to "throwback" to an old fashion way of doing things in order to express your gratitude. While e-mail is expected in this digital culture, it could also be viewed as taking quicker route, losing the personalized touch.
Step 2: Boring is never "In Vogue"
Whether you're sending an e-mail, or hand-writing your thank you note, it's imperative to set yourself apart from the crowd. You can do this by following your A,B,C's:
A: Acknowledgement & Appreciation
Your first line should be a "thank you" to the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you about the opportunity. Ensure you include the name of the position (hiring managers recruit for many different jobs at once). Time is a precious resource and their time should be acknowledged and appreciated.
B: Bring Out Valuable Talking Points
Here is where you demonstrate that you were paying attention to important details during the interview process. Reiterate what you learned from the conversation. If the interviewer shared their personal point of view, or you were educated about their proprietary system, share your feedback!
C. Correlations, Contributions & Communication
Your last few sentences are the most important. You are now drawing the correlation between what their demand is and how you can be the supplier. You can do this by describing (or clarifying) how your previous professional experience would fill the gap in what your perspective employer needs to achieve. You add to that by expressing a few ideas for contributions you would like to make which would benefit the organization. This ensures your prospective employer that there is mutual growth potential. Last but not least, you must communicate your interest level in the role and the timeline which you are available for it. For example: This position is my first choice and I would be available to begin employment exactly two weeks after receiving an offer. You would be surprised how many times first choice candidates do not jive with the company's schedule.
Step 3: Grammar, Punctuation and Salutations
Okay, this is a no brainer, but I still have to bring it up. Spell check and ensure all verbiage is in the same tense. If you're handwriting thank you notes, go slowly - you will be humbled to see how quickly you're reaching out for the internet to check the spelling of words we use everyday. When you are addressing the interviewer, do a double take at their business card, misspelling someone's name is careless and can be avoided.
Ready to give thanks? Start now, and make it a good one. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Jana Kleinman - Creative & Media Talent Manager/Staffing Golden Retriever
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