From the end of your first interview to the conclusion of your retirement party, these two words can do more to advance your career, advance your company, and endear you to the hearts of your bosses, co-workers, vendors, suppliers, and subordinates (even family!) than many others.
Drum roll please . . .
Those are the two words. Thank you. But saying them isn’t always enough. Consistently writing genuine thank you notes can help you build your professional success in enumerable ways, and I believe that they are very important right after a job interview, right after the conclusion of a “deal,” or right after anyone at any level in any organization helps you in any significant way.
When you thank someone for taking the time to interview you, help you, meet with you on a significant project, mentor you, meet with you on a bid/quote/contract, or educate you on a potential opportunity, you’re setting yourself up as a team player, someone who knows and understands the importance of other people in your success, someone who understands human dynamics. Do you have to write one every single time? Of course not, but an expression of gratitude is rarely missed and almost never ignored.
The written thank you note is an essential technique as well as a gesture of real courtesy. Always make sure you write your thank you note immediately after the interview, meeting, or other event and (hopefully) before a final decision has been made. It’s a good idea to write it in the lobby, immediately after you’ve left your meeting. The details are fresh in your mind at that point. What should you say?
1. Say what you liked about the interview, the company, the opportunity, and the position.
2. Remind the person you spoke with of any pertinent details or ways that you or your company are best suited.
3. Diffuse any concerns about your company’s qualifications that may have surfaced.
4. Go ahead and mention issues that you didn’t have the opportunity to discuss, but remember that the purpose of the thank you note is to say thank you.
5. If you had a particularly friendly meeting, you might include a reference to something you talked about unrelated to the meeting (sports, common interests, or family).
“Anyone too busy to say ‘thank you’ will get fewer and fewer chances to say it.”
Remember that it is entirely possible that more than one person was responsible for setting up the meeting’s logistics. Someone had to set up the appointment, process any paperwork, actually conduct the meeting, then process any post-meeting paperwork. Someone may have taken you on a tour of the plant or office to “show you around.” Those people will appreciate a little recognition as well. You don’t have to send a note to everyone, but a spirit of gratitude is rarely ignored and it WILL distinguish you from everyone else.
Some letter writing gurus advise you to leave off the “thanks again” that concludes so many thank-you notes. But, it’s a popular and kindhearted way of reminding the person you spoke with of the purpose of your note. Use it if it suits you.
Sample Thank You Notes
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you this afternoon and discussing the opportunity to lead a team of software developers for ABC Company. I was thrilled find you were seeking someone with my skill set, experience, and education for that position. I was also impressed by the strong team of developers ABC Company has already been able to assemble. Thanks so much for your time and for the interview.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about our two firms collaborating on the music app. I genuinely believe our two companies will compliment each other and that we will fill a niche that’s missed by so many of our competitors! I was particularly struck by the depth of experience your designers possess … you have a very impressive team and that speaks volumes about your management team. I’m looking forward to getting started soon and thanks again for lunch.
Thank you for forwarding the specifications on the fender-wells. I’ll have the quote ready in less than 48 hours and I’ll hand deliver it myself on Thursday afternoon. I really enjoyed the plant tour — and I was blown away at how clean it was! Wow. Just … wow. I’m really excited about working with you in the future and should you need anything before Thursday, please get in touch. Again, thank you.
You can email your thanks, but in most cases, it’s not as impressive. A handwritten thank you note is personal and has a formality that email lacks. However, if the company you’re dealing with tends to do business by email and if most of your contact with the company have been through email, then it’s definitely the way to go. After you’re hired or the contract is signed, you can send the handwritten thank you notes to the interviewers, your new boss, or anyone else you contacted in the interview process.
Saying thanks is one of the least expensive and easiest strategies to create a favorable environment for yourself wherever you go.
Original article by Ron Haynes.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Used with permission.