Thank you notes: Write Them

In the job search, there are a lot of thank you notes to be written. Here are some scenarios and suggestions:

Career Expo/Job Fair: 
  • Ask for business cards so you have contact information (If the company doesn't distribute personal cards, take the generic one and write the first name, often all they will give, on the back so you will remember for future networking.)
  • Send an email thanking the recruiter for his/her time the night after the event and attach your resume. Note the things you were excited to learn about the company and potential opportunities and restate how you are a fit. 
On-Campus Interview
  • Ask for a business card if you don't already have one and email a thank you that night, asking any follow-up questions and addressing any areas you think may need clarification on your answers.
  • Mail a hand-written or typed thank you note within three days that restates your sincere interest and understanding of their timeline and your availability.
Note on the issue of handwritten or typed: In the age of digital everything, I think a handwritten note is personal and shows a great deal more effort than a typed one that is no doubt formulaic and that you use repeatedly with small edits. However, if you have poor handwriting, type it. If you feel that the recruiter is very traditional, you may want to opt with a typed one as well. Regardless, you may want to type out your thoughts prior to putting pen to paper to check for grammatical and spelling errors. 

On-Site Interview
  • Ask for business cards from anyone who gives you more than five minutes of their time, regardless of their role in the organization and hiring decision.
  • Email a thank you note that evening to your main point of contact and anyone you may have experienced a "connection" with and want to offer your sincere feedback immediately. Express your observation in your natural fit with the work environment, culture of the company, additional information learned about the position, etc.
  • Mail thank you notes within three days to all people who gave you their time.
 Final Letter (Thank you Culture and Manners Institute or reminding me about this one.)
  • Upon receiving and accepting an offer, send a thank you note prior to your first day on the job to the employer, hiring manager, committee, etc, thanking them for the opportunity and sharing your excitement about the new position.
Not really the Final Letter

Remember that people like to receive thank you notes. I'm pretty sure you can never send too many. Invest in some good notecards...professional ones and ones that express your personality depending on the audience receiving the letter. 

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