Never underestimate the power of a Thank You note. In light of recent interviews that I had, I decided to crank out some Thank You notes for the people who have interviewed me. For some reason, I always end up with a large collection of Thank You notes–probably from buying a 12-pack and only using eight of them, then buying another set. What can I say, I am a hoarder.
I asked my business-world friends their opinions on Thank You notes, and learned that it was more acceptable these days to send a simple e-mail. While I value the concept behind an email, they can get deleted by accident or filtered into spam. With a mailed in note, I can be sure that it at least gets seen. Besides, who gets mail these days that isn’t an ad or professional newsletter? I know my heart jumps a little bit when I get a hand-written thank you from a friend’s wedding.
I read once that a woman’s boss once told her she was selected for a job because, out of dozens of interviewees, she was the only one to have sent a hand-written Thank You note. When I am a professional one year out of school, I am desperate to stand out among candidates who are seasoned professionals.
So, when writing a note, I have a few rules:
1) Address them professionally: “Dear Dr. Smith” unless they have requested you to address them otherwise. Being addressed as Dr. is key for egomaniacs such as myself.
2) Thank them for the time they took to interview you–they have real jobs to do, you know.
3) Add something personal from your conversation with them. “I enjoyed learning about you how you started your career”
4) Sustain interest: “I am so interested in learning more about the program you have developed”
5) Show commitment and close: “I look forward to working with you”
6) Professionally sign off: “Sincerely, Full name”–now, I have not used “sincerely” since the fourth grade. Probably because I had no idea of its place. I find this to be neutral and professional. More casually, I would go with “Thanks, Kathy” but this is not the place for that.
PS I GOT THE JOB!!