Marla was fortunate to receive a referral from another client of mine that ensured her a job interview. We tweaked her resume to fit the position, and within a couple of days of submission, she obtained an interview with an executive from the company. A week after the interview, the company informed Marla that the background process was in progress. A month later Marla called me and asked what she should do since it’s been a month since she has heard from the company. I asked her two questions:
Did you call back to find out the background check status?
Did you send a thank-you letter?
Her answer was “No” to both questions.
I suggested that she immediately hand deliver the letters to the people who interviewed her. Unfortunately, it was the end of the day Friday.
Another client Traci, similarly waited three weeks to follow-up. She called me, as Marla did, and wondered what she should do. I asked the same two questions, and recommended the same action. Traci, however, wrote a thank-you letter, and with baby in tow, hand delivered the letter in person.
Unfortunately, the position was filled; however, Traci was the ONLY candidate to send or follow-up in any way. As a result of her efforts, the employer awarded her a six-month contract just for her.
There are three reasons why a thank-you letter can be a powerful strategy to implement for every interview you obtain:
- A thank-you letter is your personal advocate. Gratitude goes a long way. It is a little gesture that speaks volumes.
- It is the last opportunity to sell yourself. By reiterating how you can fit in the organization, it seals the deal.
- You stand out positively. End of story.
We can debate whether to mail in or email it, but sending it is crucial. I believe in hand delivering it particularly if the business is local. This may offer another opportunity to have a positive impact on the process. Ideally, within 24-48 hours, but it is never too late a week later.
Send a thank-you letter to the referrer. Who says that the one interview is the end of the road for that company?
Are thank-you notes a part of your job search strategy? Why or why not? Please comment below.