The "Thank You Note" Strategy Will Get You Hired

by Staff - Original publish date: January 7, 2013

This might be the best job search article you read today because it’s simple to implement and so very powerful. 

I insist that my clients, men and women alike, attend all interviews with a box of 4" x 5" thank you cards and envelopes. Keep them in your car, messenger bag, purse -- no matter where -- keep them handy. You do not have to spend a lot of money to obtain a batch of professional cards from an office supply store or big-box retailer.

Job search experts correctly tell you that upon completion of an interview, you should email or handwrite a thank you note to your interviewer. But I find it is best to leave the interview and head out to the lobby or your car and begin hand-writing your thanks for the interview on the spot.

Think about this: as you are leaving the premises the recruiter, hiring manager or panel of interviewers is most likely preparing to interview the next candidate on the schedule. But you may be able to disrupt that interview by handwriting a short note (content below) to each and every person you spoke with. Return to the receptionist and ask that he/she please deliver your note to the appropriate people as soon as possible. With a slight sense of urgency, mention that you just interviewed with that person and you really appreciate his/her help.

The receptionist delivers your thank you note. You have just achieved compelling and memorable. You may have even destroyed the chances for the next person to gain the full attention of the person conducting their interview.

I came up with this practice several years ago when panel interviews were becoming more and more common. In the event you have ever had to deal with a panel interview you know how tough they are. But let’s look behind the mechanics of that interview. In order to bring 3 to 8 people (or more) to a panel their schedules had to be disrupted and the company is not receiving the benefit of that day’s regular work from each interviewer. In addition they may have had to travel to make this meeting which is, of course, expensive.

The result of all this effort is not lost on the company and as a result a hiring decision might be made as early as the end of the day. The person who is mailing in their thank you note(s) will be too late to make an impact and email thank you notes are, simply put, inelegant for this purpose.

What you convey by delivering a hand written note post interview is an image of yourself as the type of person the company wants dealing with their hard earned clientele.

Some rules for the successful onsite thank you note delivery.

  • At the beginning of the interview ask each interviewer for their business card. If they do not have one politely ask how they spell their names so that you get them exactly right.
  • Keep this note short! Thank them for their time; clearly state you are the perfect person for the position and then state that you look forward to hearing from them shortly. No more. No less. Sign or print your name.
  • Insert two business cards.
  • Hand write the person’s full name (title is not usually necessary in this case) on the envelope.
  • Be certain to carry more blank cards than you think you will need. Invariably you will screw up more notes than you might think.
  • Present to receptionist. 

Yours might be the only name they remember at the end of the day. And that's the goal.

Good Job Hunting!

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