Monday, November 16, 2020

The First Thing to Do After a Job Interview

Even though you may have more phone or Zoom interviews during your current job search because of the pandemic, the basics of job searching remain the same: do your homework on an employer so you're prepared for an interview; dress appropriately; ask questions -- and always, always, always send a thank-you note.

I cannot tell you how many hiring managers say that they're always impressed by thank-you notes, and how it helps candidates stand out. With that in mind, here are some things to think about when writing a note:

  • Send it within 24 hours. While etiquette rules say you can wait about three months to send a thank-you note for a wedding gift, it needs to be much sooner than that after a job interview. Send an email within the first day of an interview, then send a handwritten note by the next day.
  • Recap the highlights. Thank the person for his or her time and take the opportunity to mention two or three things you might have discussed, such as your skills for the job. If you feel like there is a key point you forgot to mention earlier, include it in the thank-you note.
  • Stay professional. I can't believe I need to mention this, but here I go: Be professional when writing these notes. Don't swear or use emojis in your email. Don't use pink glitter stationary. Use correct grammar and spelling (there is no automatic spellcheck available when you're handwriting a note).
  • Be unique. It can be tempting to send a form thank-you note that you find online, and that's OK to a point. But they all read the same, and the receiver will recognize a template. So, try to come up with something unique to include, such as "I really enjoyed hearing about your master gardener class," or "Hearing about your love of golf makes me want to start taking lessons."

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