The Art of Giving Thanks
Giving thanks isn't just reserved for Thanksgiving. Everyone enjoys feeling appreciated. The same logic applies to your job search and interviews. One of the easiest ways of inspiring a hiring manager to extend an offer of employment is also one of the most easily overlooked...GRATITUDE.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.” —Oprah Winfrey
When interviewing for a job, it is essential to remember the time and resources that it took to get you in that chair. Reviewing your resume, coordinating schedules, and dedicating the time to sit and speak with you, are all vital steps in assessing your cultural fit within an organization. You can say it's just people doing their job, but don't you like it when you feel appreciated? Why not show that same kind of appreciation, even if it is someone just doing their job. If you are aware, cognizant, and take the initiative to show your gratitude throughout the entire interview process, you will not only have a better and more positive overall experience, but your positive attitude may very well inspire someone to hire you...or share your information with someone who will.
According to Kim Isaacs, a Monster Resume Expert, most candidates will not send in a post-interview thank you letter. Isaacs writes, "Even if you think an offer is in the bag, you can always improve your chances of getting the job if you send a thank you letter." However, with the fast-pace means of communication, the way in which you give thanks, could make or break your chances of receiving an offer.
Take a look at this draft of a thank you note Donna Svei, veteran recruiter and résumé expert of the AvidCareerist, recently got from a client who was looking for feedback before she sent it.
I’m so grateful for your generosity this morning in spending time speaking with me and sharing your insights about the new position on your team. Thank you. Near the end of our talk, I mentioned my excitement about having a chance to help create systems and processes that will allow [Company Name] to better manage [the challenge] and seize opportunities.
I hope I’ve also conveyed well to everyone on the team my eagerness to receive your/their mentorship, on [Company Name’s] culture and how to succeed as [Position Title]. There’s nothing I’d rather do with this next chapter of my [position type] career than serve one company in such depth that I become woven into its fabric. It’s plain to see you are on that path and enjoying it very much. Meeting you and hearing your story affirmed my decision to make this jump.
Whatever happens, let’s please keep in touch!
P.S. See attached photos of dogs.
It's brief, (which is definitely not a bad thing), concise, and to the point. In addition, Svei also mentions that the candidate hit several key points with her note, of which include:
Demonstrated soft skills such as self-motivation and commitment
Built upon the newly created rapport with the hiring manager
Touched on a shared interest
This candidate would then go on to receive an offer of employment. Now before you click send (or seal the envelope) on that thank you note, it's recommended that you edit and proof read what you have - to ensure that you are providing a good impression.
Here are some helpful tips in writing your next thank you note:
Don't think of it as giving thanks. Instead of simply saying a generic thank you, a successful note builds on the conversations you had during the interview by illustrating what you can offer in addition to what was discussed.
Don't use a template. And if you do, make it personal. If you're really stumped on what to write, remember that hiring managers are usually quite accomplished at spotting a generic effort. It is their job to review candidates so do not underestimate the power that comes from screening prospects all day. Make your thank you personal.
Don't rush it. Take your time, think it through. Don't appear as if you're simply checking the "send a thank you note" off your list.
Don't make a dumb mistake. I can't tell you how many times people have spelled my name wrong. It's 4 letters: R-Y-A-N. With the job market being so competitive, employers are finding any reason not to hire someone. Be sure to grab a business card, or check Linkedin before pressing send to ensure you're addressing the right person and spelling their name correctly.
After all is said and done, sometime a little bit of gratitude can go a long way in landing your next opportunity. All there is to it, is to do it.