Have you ever been “thanked” for something? Of course you have, and you enjoyed it. Everybody likes to be “thanked” for something they did, no matter how small. Our brains are hardwired to want feedback. Employers are the same. How many potential job seekers send a “thank you” email or handwritten note to a potential employer after an interview? (Hint, all of you should be raising your hands). Regardless of whether or not they actually land you the job, sending a thank you card, or in today’s age an email, shows the slightest bit of professional courtesy. You’re thanking the potential employer for their coveted time.
Seeking that competitive edge? Show the employer that you can take the extra step in being a professional. It doesn’t take very long to type out an email but the sad fact is that most college students can’t be bothered taking the time. Eventually they push it off altogether. Don’t wait or you’ll miss the very short window of opportunity to make an impact on the employer. In fact, the best idea is to send it the day of the interview.
Why is the “thank you” card important? It’s not like an unqualified candidate who sends one is automatically going to get the job over an extremely qualified candidate who doesn’t send one. Rather, it helps employers remember you in a sea of other candidates. It’s not about taking a commanding lead but rather about gaining an edge over the competition.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Anthony Comella, Vice President of Human Resources for Hanson Professional Services, who has a large responsibility to interview potential candidates for employment, had this to say about the “thank you” card:
“Personally, I find that when a candidate for a position with my company sends me a handwritten thank you note, it causes me to look at the resume again and helps bring the candidate back to the top of my mind…[add] something specific about the [company] so I know it is well thought out.” -Anthony Comella, Vice President of Human Resources at Hanson Professional Services.
If you’re like most members of Generation X, then your penmanship leaves something to be desired. Sending an email has become the standard, though the problem with email is that it’ll end up being one email in a mass of others. With a physical card, at least it has the chance of being held and opened by the employer. However, I would only recommend sending a handwritten card if you can actually write well.
Questions? Idea or suggestions? Follow me on twitter @ChrisComella or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org