Job interviews are like marketing campaigns; research shows the consumer (in this case the company) does not make a buying (hiring) decision until she has been exposed to the product (you) multiple times.
By increasing the number of times the company decision makers interact with you, the more likely they will decide to pick you from the shelf.
Your cover letter, resume, and interview give you three chances to be seen by the company. A follow-up note or email message thanking the interviewer for meeting with you may be your final chance to make an impression. It is estimated that only 20% of job seekers bother to send thank you notes. The other 80 % are missing a great opportunity to sell themselves one final time before the decision is made. A well-written note can reinforce your strongest assets, serve as a “do over” on a clumsily handled interview question, and show you are excited at the prospect of working at the company, in addition to making your parents proud of your politeness.
Here’s how to use thank you notes to elevate yourself above the other applicants:
Consider the culture when crafting the message, as well. The more formal the company, the more formal the follow up correspondence should be.
Make no mistake about it….Thank you notes are not passé. They are both a way to extend and enlarge contact with the hiring organization and a way to demonstrate professionalism. By taking the time to thank the interviewer, you position yourself as someone who sincerely is interested in the position and is willing to invest resources to show yourself in the best possible light.
We often times hear concerns from candidates reluctant to send a thank you note fearing that it will make them look ‘desperate’. The key to appearing interested and enthusiastic in an opportunity as opposed to pleading for a job is in the context as well as the number of times you follow up. We coach our candidates to immediately follow up within 24 hours via email, and then one additional time if you do not get a response within 48 hours. Sending that 2nd follow up via hard copy mail is also an excellent way to cover all your bases, since emails do occasionally get lost. Keeping your note brief and to the point, inviting your interviewer to reach out to you for any additional questions or ideally to schedule the next meeting, is always a positive.
Incredibly, 8 out of 10 candidates do not follow up with thank you notes. It is ideal when you are the only one that does, and you certainly do not want to be the only one that does not .
Ann Zaslow- Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, a leader in Executive Search since 1999. Please reach out to ISC for any recruitment needs in the following 6 areas of focus: Sales, Financial Services, Healthcare (non-clinical), Higher Education, Construction & Real Estate Acquisition & Development.
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