The One Thing You’re Not Doing To Land That Dream Job
You finally got the interview at your dream company. You prepared days in advance, did your research, followed team members on social media and drafted a laundry list of both ideas and questions that you shared with the interviewer. You even wore your most confident #boss outfit, which your potential manager complimented. You’re feeling great post-interview, thinking there’s nothing left to do but wait for the offer to come through.
Wrong. The one thing left to check off your list? Writing a thank-you card. And we’re not just talking about an email. We’re talking an old-school, handwritten thank-you note complete with a stamp that the mailman hand delivers to the interviewer.
Writing a thank-you card might seem like a no-brainer post-interview for some, but you might be surprised to learn how often this small token of gratitude goes unsent.
According to the iCIMS 2018 Job Outlook Report, 74 percent of entry-level job candidates don’t send a thank-you note post-interview, which could really be delaying their ability to get hired. The same report found that 63 percent of recruiters said they’d be more likely to hire someone who sent a thank-you note, even if they were asking for a higher salary than other candidates.
Now, let’s say you’re part of the 26 percent of entry-level candidates who do send a thank-you note post-interview. That’s great, but are you sending it in the most effective way possible? Whether it’s an email or a handwritten letter, there are a few ways you can boost your chances of making a lasting impression post-interview to land that dream job.
Write both an email and a handwritten thank-you card.
It might sound like overkill, but trust us on this one. Sending a follow-up email a few hours after your interview gives you the chance to thank the interviewers while also touching on something you discussed. Maybe you mentioned an awesome newsletter that you read daily — link to it in the email so that the interviewer can check it out. This is a great way to continue the conversation.
Pro Tip: Never write your thank-you email on your phone. Wait until you get to a computer so that you can ensure it has zero typos and no “Sent from iPhone” signature at the end.
Writing a thank-you card on top of the email is a great way to make another impression a day or two later. You’ll be on the interviewer’s mind just days after they met with you in person, which could help sway their decision to hire you.
Prep your handwritten thank-you card in advance so you can send it ASAP.
We’re not suggesting you pre-write your thank-you card. Always write your thank-you card organically and tailor it to the interviewer to whom you’re sending it. Every person you interviewed with also deserves their own card.
What we are suggesting is that you prep the card in advance so you can mail it even faster, ensuring it gets to the office within a few days of the interview.
First, write out the envelope and put a stamp on it before you even get to the office for the interview. Next, confirm the address and floor of the company that you’ll be sending it to once you’re at the building for your in-person interview. Then, once the interview is done, head to a nearby coffee shop where you can sit and write out the thank-you card while the topics you discussed are still fresh in your mind. Last, seal the card and find a local mailbox or post office where you can send it. This ensures that your card will arrive within a day or two of your interview. Plus, it will be less likely to get lost in the mail if it has a shorter distance to travel.
Keep the handwritten thank-you note short and sweet.
Unlike sending a thank-you email, which has unlimited room for your note, writing a thank-you card only affords you so much space. Keep it short and sweet, but meaningful nonetheless.
Here’s a sample thank-you card template you can use as the foundation for your post-interview note. Be sure to add your own spin to it, though, so it’s unique for the interviewer!
It was so great meeting you on [DAY] and learning more about the [JOB TITLE] at [COMPANY]. I really enjoyed hearing about [PROJECT] and hope I’ll be able to join the team to help see it come to fruition. Regardless, I’d really enjoy keeping in touch and supporting you and the team in any way that I can. Have a great rest of your week and I look forward to hearing from you!
[YOUR UNIQUE SIGN-OFF],
Pro Tip: Always have extra thank-you cards on hand so that if you make a mistake, you can grab a fresh one and start over. Never send a thank-you card with typos, messy handwriting or a message that looks crammed on the card!
Stand out by going above and beyond the thank-you card.
Thank-you emails and cards are pretty standard procedure post-interview, so you might not be the only one sending them. However, if you made a really great connection with the interviewer — especially if they’ll be your manager if you get hired — consider going the extra mile to show your gratitude, as well as your interest in the company.
Aria Finger, the CEO of DoSomething.org, told the audience at the 2018 Smartwater Futures Summit that she’s seen candidates really make a splash post-interview. One time, a day or two after Finger interviewed a candidate for a role at her organization, she and her team received a large package in the mail. The candidate expressed their heartfelt gratitude about the role for which they interviewed in the form of an entire cake!
You don’t necessarily need to send baked goods, but something as simple as a book you discussed in the interview could be a great addition to the thank-you card you send post-interview.
No matter how you decide to show your thanks, it’s important to send a thank-you note after every interview. It’s one habit that will never go out of style and could seriously be the secret to your career success.