Advance Your Career With These Two Words

by Ron Haynes

Drum roll please . . .

Thank you.

Those are the two words. Thank you. From the end of your first interview to the conclusion of your retirement party, those two words can do more to advance your career and endear you to the hearts of your bosses, co-workers, and subordinates than many others. 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.

When you thank someone for taking the time to interview you and educate you on a potential career opportunity, you’re setting yourself up as a team player, someone who knows and understands the importance of other people in your success. The written thank you note is an essential job-seeking technique as well as a gesture of courtesy. Always make sure you write your thank you note immediately after the interview and before a decision has been made. It’s a good idea to write it in the lobby, immediately after you’ve left the interview. 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 interviewer how you are particularly suited for the job.
3. Diffuse any concerns about your qualifications that surfaced during the interview.
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 interviewer, you might include a reference to something you talked about unrelated to the interview (sports, common interests, or family).

Remember that it is entirely possible that more than one person was responsible for setting up the interviews logistics. Someone had to set up the appointment, process the pre-interview paperwork, actually do the interview, then process any post-interview 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.

Some letter writing gurus advise you to leave off the “thanks again” that concludes so many thank-you notes. But, it is a popular and kindhearted way of reminding the interviewer of the purpose of your note. Use it if it suits you.

A Sample Thank You Note

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.

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 interviewing 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, 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.

“Anyone too busy to say ‘thank you’ will get fewer and fewer chances to say it.”
—Harvey Mackay

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 6 comments }

Patrick

Ron, great reminder. I think too many people get caught up in trying to present the “perfect” image in interviews that they forget to be natural and polite. The “perfect” image is being someone that people can relate to and are comfortable around. Saying thank you is a small, but important way to let people know you appreciate them. Great article.

Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Ron – I firmly believe in the value of a follow-up thank you letter after an interview. From my experience, very few people do this and it helps to set yourself apart. For me, it gives me a positive impression of the applicant. An email is too easy, but a letter takes a little effort and demonstrates more initiative. I personally prefer typed letters to handwritten in a business scenario, but I think either method is better than letting the opportunity slip by without doing anything. Great suggestions!

Ron

#Jeff→

Thanks for the kind words. I believe that a grateful attitude ALWAYS wins out when everything else is equal. The interviewee can never truly know when “everything else IS equal” so why not try to tip the scales in your favor???

Nicole J.

I was offered my last job because I sent thank you notes to everyone who interviewed me. My former employer told me that by just sending those few cards (max 15 minute investment) I showed that I had what it takes to be a team player and treat people with respect (two very important qualities for that particular work). If I hadn’t had taken the time and little effort to be polite, well I wouldn’t have gotten the job. They were going to offer it to somebody else until they got those little cards in the mail.

Great article.

LP

Wonderful article! Thank you Ron!

Being gracious is a quality that is special and needful for the hearer and the giver.
Those 2 little sincere words are worth more than just money!
They can change a person’s life. Or at least enhance it. :smile:

Thank you for writing this post!
May it be used to change the attitudes of those not used to giving it or hearing it. :smile:

LP

Jim Berigan

Hi! Wonderful article! As someone who has interviewed many people before, I can reaffirm that those who humbly and sincerely expresed their gratitude for the opportunity to interview always scored well for me.

A person who remembers to share his or her gratitude often has many other quailities that are superior to those who are lazy or forgetful with their thanks.

I’m a first time reader and look forward to many more great ideas!

Jim Berigan

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