You just finished an interview with a company you’re pretty excited about and you decide to send a thank you note to the interview team to express your gratitude for their time and interest.
Sending a thank you note is proper etiquette but did you also know a well-written note can be a strategic advantage in your job search?
Read on to learn three ways to make your thank you note a powerful tool for furthering your career.
1. Deepen Your Connection with the Company and Interviewer
With so many applicants and interviews being conducted, you want to make sure you don’t become another face in the crowd. A thank you note is a simple and effective way to stand out from other candidates while proactively building relationships with the interview team.
While sending a handwritten note is a nice personal touch, it may be difficult to find the appropriate address to send your note to, especially as more and more employees are remote. Sending an email is just as effective in getting your message of gratitude across. It’s also a great way to let the interviewer know how interested you are in the opportunity and can serve as a follow up to the next steps in the interview process.
So what makes a good thank you note?
It’s a sincere, personal message that highlights the positive, memorable interaction you had with the interviewer. Your note might include what you’ve learned, what you liked about the opportunity, and any follow-up questions you may have.
This is also your chance to mention how impressed you are by a project they mentioned or recall something personal you and the interviewer learned about each other. This shows that you were actively listening and will help the recipient remember you. Of course, be sure your note is free of grammatical and spelling errors. No one wants to be remembered for using the wrong their/there/they’re.
2. Widen Your Network at this Company (and Beyond)
In addition to sending a thank you note, you should also connect with the recruiting and hiring team on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites.
By connecting with the hiring team (and anyone else you may have connected with during your interview process, like your recruiter ) on LinkedIn, you’re building relationships with direct and indirect influences on hiring decisions.
People like to feel noticed and wanted. Adding interviewers and other contacts on LinkedIn sends the subtle message that, regardless of their hiring decision, you’d like to stay in touch. Be sure to use LinkedIn’s opportunity to “add a note” to your connection, even if it’s a simple “It was great to meet you!”
You should also be on the lookout for any shared connections you have. Those contacts may be able to give you more insight into the company or even put in a good word! This strategy should be used specifically with people you personally know and are comfortable asking for a recommendation.
3. Spread the Word About Your Job Search
So if, for some reason, you don’t land this position, expressing your gratitude can still be pivotal. Every time you connect with an interviewer, through a thank you note or through LinkedIn, you’re gaining access to their network and the people with whom they have influence.
They may also know of other companies that are hiring where you could be a fit! Your thank you note or LinkedIn connection might be what reminds them to refer you for another opportunity.
Bonus: Thank You Notes Make You Feel Good
Looking for a new job can be daunting. It can stress you out, cause anxiety, and can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Research shows that expressing gratitude can have positive effects on your well-being, elevating your mood. And a positive attitude goes a long way in convincing people to work with you.
Sending a thank you note is one small act of gratitude that can have substantial positive effects on your well-being. For more on why gratitude is good for you, check out this article by Robert Emmons, Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “If you want to feel good, you have to go out and do some good.” While perhaps she wasn’t explicitly referring to writing thank you notes after an interview, it’s the little things that add up and snowball into something great, like landing your dream job.
Check out more tips on effective career search strategies here on the CareerlyLAB blog.