Thank You. Two little words. Two very powerful words. We use them a lot in conversation. However, this seems to be something that has dropped off in certain areas of out lives, especially the thank you note – or thank you email.
I remember back in the “olden days” – before the Internet – when you interviewed for a job, you followed through with a thank you letter. The idea was to show the people you interviewed with that you were listening and that this job was important to you. Now that we are in an age of instant communication, I find it sadly interesting that this art has been lost.
I recently got a promotion to the leadership role that I had been wanting for a few years and was excited to become a Systems Engineering Leader for our Cybersecurity Channels. One of the first things I had to do was hire two people for the team. We had several great candidates with great resumes who interviewed well, but one of the things that differentiated some people from others, where almost everything else was equal in their skillset and experience, was the “Thank You” email. This little effort really went a long way and truly made a difference in the decision process.
If you are on board with bringing this back into your processes or want to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers, here are a couple of things to consider when writing the email.
1. Send it as soon as you can. This doesn’t mean write something poorly just to get it out there. Try to send your email within a day of an interview. Everything is still fresh in your mind as well as the interviewers. You want them to remember you!
2. Write a separate “Thank You” to each person you interview with. Make sure you point out something specific that you discussed during that interviewer to help show that you’re listening and engaged. Also, remember, that the interviewers will likely come together to discuss their meetings with you. If you send a generic email to everyone you spoke with, it will not come across as well. Trust me on this one, take the time to personalize each thank you. It is worth it.
3. Title the email with “Thank You: Job Title, Interview Date”. I know this part seems impersonal, but remember, the interviewers could be meeting with many candidates. This will remind them of who they met with and when. When I have a lot of people I am interviewing (and sometimes interviewing candidates for jobs not on my team), I go back through my notes sometimes to refresh myself with the conversation. This little reminder in the subject really helps.
4. Keep it short and sweet. Okay, maybe not sweet, but professional. Also, be clear and concise. Just a couple of paragraphs is all you need. Highlight a couple of points from the conversation to show that you are truly interested in the role. If there was something that came up in your conversation that really connected you and the interviewer, make sure you bring that up. This could be personal or professional – those connections are important. Wrap it up with reminding the interviewer why you are the right candidate for the role.
As we continue to live in this fast-paced, instant-information world, taking the time to slow down can be beneficial. Letting someone know that you appreciate the time they have taken to speak with you with a thoughtful, well-written thank you email can be the differentiator between you and another candidate. It really does go a long way with the interviewer, and they will remember you in a more positive way.
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