It’s a lesson nearly all parents teach their kids but one that’s not always sustained throughout life. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the lesson of giving thanks is certainly one to be reinforced to job seekers, especially the growing ranks of the laid off.
Saying "thank you" is not just professional, it’s the right thing to do whether you’re looking for a new job or directions when you’re lost – even if you don’t get what you want or need. If you’re receiving bad news, such as "We decided to hire the other finalist for the job," or "You’re not the kind of candidate we’re looking to hire at this time," you may at least be remembered for saying thank you and being appreciative.
Here’s where saying thank you can make a difference in the job search:
The opening thank you
"Thank you for calling me to interview for the position."
This is a good way to start off the interview, and it’s best to say it with a smile. First impressions are critical, and this can contribute to the hiring manager's opinion of you.
The closing thank you
"I appreciate your taking the time to talk with me about the job and the company."
Last impressions are also important, so show the same grace you did when you walked into the room. This is especially helpful if you’re being interviewed by a group of people. Don’t forget to acknowledge each interviewer – by name if possible.
The follow-up thank you note
"Thank you for the time and effort you put into our interview, helping me learn more about the position and the organization. I am further convinced that I could contribute to the success of ABC International in this role, and I look forward to hearing from you to discuss the next steps in the process."
Most hiring managers are impressed with a candidate who takes the time to write a quick thank you note after the interview. It demonstrates your interpersonal and communications skills, and offers a glimpse at how you might fit in should you be hired.
Even if you’re not interested in the job, send a thank you note after the interview. You never know when the employer might have a job that’s right for you later on and remember you for your courtesy and professionalism.
The "rejection appreciation"
"It was kind of you to let me know in such a timely fashion. I would have welcomed the opportunity to work for such a strong company as ABC, and I hope you will consider me for any future openings in which my skills could benefit the business."
Sure, the job would have been great and you’re a bit bummed you didn’t get it. But if you like the idea of working for the company, a post-rejection thank you will underscore your professionalism.
The golden rule of networking is to give more than you receive. But when you do receive a job lead or a hiring manager’s contact information, be sure to offer a gracious thank you. Even if a networking contact doesn’t have information for you, be just as gracious for their time.
Thanks (wink) for reading! Happy Thanksgiving!