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The Thank You

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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