“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that is has taken place” – George Bernard Shaw.
We all know someone that is looking or considering a new job or even better, a new career. This may even be you. Whether unemployed, between jobs, currently employed or underemployed (not doing work that makes full use of their talents, skills and abilities) great advice can be found on many topics.
• How do you write a compelling cover letter?
• How do you write a resume that gets noticed?
• What are great questions to ask when being interviewed?
• What is a market value for a certain kind of work?
The list goes on and on. These are all incredibly important questions, however one thing that is often not mentioned is something that I think really distinguishes you from your competition. Writing a handwritten thank you note to the person that interviewed you.
In today’s world we have a myriad of ways to communicate with people. Social media, email, text, emoji, whatever. However, if the medium in which you communicate is easy and requires no extra effort then that means everyone else is doing the same thing and your effort is the same as perhaps dozens of others who also sent an email. You will get lost in the shuffle, or at minimum not stand out from the others.
Showing genuine enthusiasm and gratefulness for the person who spent their valuable time to talk with you. After you say thank you in person or on the phone, follow up to show your appreciation with a hand-written note. The hand-written component of this is crucial to the success. A proper thank you is not done through email. (This does not mean you can’t email them, just that the email alone doesn’t convey true appreciation)
This 5-minute task can be the difference between someone filing your resume for a later date and you finally being offered the position you truly feel is your calling. The handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes about you as a potential employee, your general character and signifies you want this position enough to invest a little time and money into it. You don’t have to go crazy, a simple two or three line note on a simple card. A few dollars spent by you could mean the difference in tens of thousands of dollars in pay.
(Pro tip- always say thank you to the office manager, receptionist, administrative assistant or anyone else who helped you along the way, not just whoever is interviewing you for the job. Very often managers and business owners ask these trusted confidants what they thought of you).
So, What Are the Three Ways to Find Your New Career?
1. Write a handwritten thank you note.
2. Write a handwritten thank you note.
3. Write a handwritten thank you note.
One of my friends is a successful business owner in a competitive industry. When I asked him about how he sets himself apart, he told me this.
“Darrin, as you know, when my son was young I made him follow up and write thank you notes to anyone who ever got him anything, even if he had thanked them in person or called them to do so. In our email and text messages heavy world there’s a special quality to the physical letter that people overlook. Whether this is expressing gratitude for a toy or time, it is the same concept. Anytime I meet with someone, I realize they didn’t have to talk to me. They choose to take time out of their incredibly busy schedule to meet me, so I would write a small thank you letter to them. For example, I sent a postcard I found of a horse drawn cart to the owner of a traffic control signals company after we met. The card had a simple message to the effect that his industry and mine have both come a long way and thanked him for his time. He responded that sometimes that would be faster than fighting I-4 [a busy interstate in Orlando] I got a contract with him. In our heavy transactional world, people crave relationships. My little hand-written note schtick has worked, does work and I believe will always work, no matter what technology comes around because it kicks off a professional relationship.”
(This below image is the thank you letter his son sends after receiving a birthday present. Probably overkill to send something like this to a client, but it is still cool)
I could tell you numerous stories of myself and other people I know that have had similar results when they took just a little extra effort to show gratefulness. This is not limited to just the interview process. Feel free to write a note for someone who made an introduction for you, presented an award, participated in a work-related charity event, etc. Gratefulness is a strong foundation for all character. A lot of great people aren’t being recognized as great because they can’t rise above the noise. This small act separates the wheat from the chaff and helps you stand out.
So how do you write a thank you note?
1. Get a small blank card and envelope.
2. Write something short, sincere and authentic.
I recommend keeping it short and thanking them for their time. You may mention something that stuck with you about the interview, but don’t make it a novella for them to read. Short and sweet does the trick here. Mail the thank you note or even better, stop by and drop it off if you can, again, it’s all about showing appreciation, gratefulness and going that extra mile that will separate you from the rest of the candidates.
Whether you are happily employed or not, few people realize that the act of expressing gratitude is an important element of being a professional. To that affect, I want to thank you in advance for reading my blog. I am grateful to you for taking time out of your busy life to read a few lines about my thoughts.
HH Staffing has over 30 successful years of helping create that bridge between the right candidate and client for temporary, temporary to permanent and direct hire staff. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.