Thank you letters
Thank You letters are a huge opportunity to solidify your relationship with your recruiter, your network, your customer base, and your potential co workers / managers.
Thank you letters aren’t always needed. If I hold a door open for someone and they just walk through without acknowledging my effort, I get a little bent. I am not asking for much. Just a head nod is enough and I don’t think I am alone.
It is Christmas Eve and I should be on the desk reflecting on a great 2010 with a cigar, but here I am ranting again.
I have posted about why I think thank you letters are so important in the past. After interviewing 10 recent college grads in the past week and a half and not getting a single “thank you” I am not only disappointed, I am a little pissed. At one point this morning, I thought “the first person to say thank you will get the job”.
The job: Hipster Office Admin with a Smart phone wanted to keep our chaotic lives sane. In other words, you could be running for 6 cases of Diet Coke in the morning, booking corporate travel, and keeping our code monkeys at their desk by making sure they don’t have to worry about water, food, shelter, or their precious Senhiesser headphones.
This is an entry-level job and the pay is commensurate. What this translates to is that 95% of the candidates are recent grads or just a few years out of school.
I interviewed the first candidate and when I didn’t get a thank you, I was a stumped, and justified it in my mind as “their loss”. (Yes, I did want to hire them. I must have stunk up the interview room.)
By interview number three, I was getting a bit worried. The candidates seem genuinely interested in the position, but still no “thank you letters”.
Most of the candidates graduated with a 3.5 GPA, have travelled and tried new foods (shows how open they are to different cultures and ideas), worked a part-time or full-time job while going to school (shows they can take a 50 hour work week), and the cover letters mimicked the tone of our quirky ad that said we don’t like resume’s and want to hear stories (anyone can cut and paste a cover letter, but writing takes time and thought).
By candidate number 7, I was really hoping for a thank you letter, and when nothing turned up, I got a little pissed. I would have been stoked to work alongside 5 of these 7 candidates.
I don’t have children, but do have dogs. I can’t blame the dog for their behavior. There are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. Yeah, I just said that.
Thing is, people are checking in to see what the progress is. Some are sending me links to their blogs to show how comfortable they are with the Net. But no “thank you”. When folks have asked what the pay is (yes, in the first interview – don’t get me started) and I turned it around and asked them what they need – Not once have I said that is too much. I have always let them know we are both talking the same language.
Thank you letters:
Reinforce that you want the job.
Acknowledge that someone took the time to answer your questions.
Are an opportunity to give another example why you are the right candidate for the position.
Am I just “old”? I have gone back and forth. Do I decline these folks, explain what they are missing, get good candidates to great, them and then have them go work for the competition?
Which is why I started this blog. People are getting declined and they don’t even know why.
Even if you decide you don’t want the job, always try to put yourself in a situation where you are declining the position vs. you are getting declined.
Here is why the Thank You is so important to me. Yes, there is a bit of courtesy and civility involved, but more importantly, this position will be interacting with our investors, our Board, our customers and the rest of the team. And aren’t all positions? I want to work with someone who is gracious enough to take the time and say thank you. This person doesn’t have to be reminded. Common courtesy is ingrained in their DNA. I used to say that I wanted a letter via the postal mail (and I would still appreciate that). Now, I would take a text that says “ty”.
Where is that cigar?
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.
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