After writing the post Why Politeness May Be Hurting Your Job Search this week, a really great discussion got started regarding manners. And it is an interesting question about when and how to use the manners that have been “drummed in” to you since childhood (Thanks Sarah for the words “drummed in”!).
There is anxiety for some who would rather be safe than risk putting someone off or appearing to be bold or inappropriate. I get that. Job search is a time where you are looking to make no mistakes. It is a competitive market out there and you do not want to stand out in a bad way.
But you also don’t want to be stuck in the past. And you don’t want to act one way on Twitter and in another way when addressing a cover letter.
So, when to say thank you. Here’s my thinking:
In Thank You Notes?
Hold on, now. Not so obvious. It depends on a few things. Who is the recipient? What was the nature of your conversation? I saw a good post on this by Brad Remillard who writes Career Blog and is an well-known executive recruiter here in Orange County. In his post “The Real Reason For “Thank You” Letters Isn’t To Say, “Thank You” Brad suggests that the better use of a thank you note is “to reinforce your ability to do the job and/or address any potential issues that came up during the
interview”. I agree with that although I wonder whether a note arriving a few days after the interview will be too late? As a hiring manager has my impression already been firmed up?
The question is: should a follow-up or thank you note include a “thank you” at all? Based on the premise laid out in my post from earlier this week, can a “thank you” hurt you? Hard to imagine, I guess, but a heavy thank you can feel over the top or desperate.
THE MAIN POINT: You were not interviewed as a favor to you. They weren’t throwing you a bone. You were interviewed to potentially solve a business problem for the company. And you were identified as a possible solution.
And while I’m not suggesting “don’t say thank you” after an interview, I honestly don’t think it is necessary. I like a further point Brad makes that a follow-up note should be more of a furthering of your marketing effort. That makes sense. And seems a better purpose in writing a follow-up note.
And, by the way, my position changes for follow-up notes after an informational interview. That absolutely deserves a “thank you”.
What do you think?
Even when networking is done right – when there is a good “give and take”, a thank you is always appropriate and much appreciated! And I don’t much care if it is an e-mail, a text message, a hand written note, a $5 Starbucks gift card or a re-tweet of a post you liked. I sincerely appreciate a thank you. As does anyone who has taken time out of their busy life to help. It nicely closes the loop on a networking interaction.
- A recruiter who gives you 15 minutes of their time when they don’t have a match for you.
- A fellow networker in transition who helps you get your feet wet on your own search.
- An employed person who shows up at networking events to give back.
- Anyone who forwards you a targeted job lead.
- A speaker at an event you attend.
All these deserve a thank you. Don’t you think?
It doesn’t have to be long. A few lines work well! But it should be sincere. Authentic. And, if you’d like, you can ask how you might be able to return the favor. That opens a new loop for networking . . .
Curious to get your take on this point.
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: follow-up | interview | Job Search | manners | politeness | Social Networking | thank you notes
Categories: Job Interview Tips And Questions