March 9, 2010 · For Employees
Will a thank you note really make or break my chances of getting a job? Probably not in most cases, but why take the chance? About 19 years ago, I was interviewing for a position with a Fortune 500 company. Competition was extremely heavy and the number of interviews that one day were astounding! There were 2200 people interviewing for 315 positions within the Southeast Region of Merck and Co. I had waited on the job for many months. The interviewing lasted from 8 that morning until after six that evening. I interviewed with ten different managers and executives that day. After each interview, I thanked that manager for his/her time and asked for their business card. The next day, ten different thank you cards were sent to each manager that I had talked with. The next week, I was called and offered the job. Years later after becoming friends with some of those that interviewed me, I asked what about me they liked. The answers surprised me. By in large, it was the thank you cards that each person received that put me ahead of the others.
Sadly only about 5 percent of those looking for jobs perform this simple, yet crucial ritual. Should the thank you note be typed or handwritten? Studies show it really doesn’t matter as long as you do it. What about emailing your thank you? Career experts are not in total agreement about this. Even if emailing fits the company culture, you should still follow up with a typed or handwritten note.
Finally, find a way to personalize your thank you. If you notice that the interviewer has elephant figurines in his/her office, find a note card that has an elephant picture on it. Even finding an article that the interviewer may find interesting may be a good way of personalizing your thank you note.
Never underestimate what your mother or grandmother always taught you … always say thank you!
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