Say thank you? Suggested business interactions and customary interviewing suggestions evolve as the generations change. Most recruiters and business people will tell you that it IS a good idea to send a “thank you” note following an interview. It distinguishes you from the majority of the other candidates because, roughly speaking; only 25% of the job seekers will actually send a “thank you” note. Even sending an email sets you apart from other candidates. A brief acknowledgement of the contact, written professionally and without grammar mistakes or typos does nothing but leave a positive impression.
It is a mistake to believe that a job seeker who follows up on an interview is perceived as pesky or obtrusive. The fact of the matter is being professionally persistent is the key to keeping your name foremost on the list of possible choices. It is that sense of being “polite” that sometimes stands in the way of making a prospective employer remember or even notice you. An employer that receives a call or email from someone that is professional, respectful, brief, to the point, upbeat, and humble will not be put-off. Rather, much more likely to be impressed by the interest, and the way the person communicates and presents themselves. They will also notice that the candidate is different from other candidates, because the vast majority of people don’t do it.
A common response when someone is asked if they followed up after an interview or some other connection is for them to say they “not yet” or “I forgot”. In most cases I don’t think it’s their memory that kept them from doing it, but rather that they didn’t know how to do it well, assuming – wrongly -that no follow up is better than saying something in a less than ideal way. While it is critical that a note has no spelling errors, terrible grammar, or slang, there are generally no magic words that need to be said. Whether it’s in a phone call or a note… brevity is a virtue. A simple “Thank you for your time and consideration” will make a positive impression, while no follow up makes none, leaving you lost in the majority who don’t follow up.
One notion that job seekers have about following up on an interview is that it may appear “desperate”. There is no doubt that the follow up should be completed with confidence and professional determination. It creates an appearance of someone who has firm resolve, not desperate. It is all in how you view yourself.
The job market is incredibly competitive today. Small things will “tip the scale”, especially when there are multiple candidates with equal qualifications. It’s not uncommon to hear something like “This one seemed to be more interested. They sent me a thank you note, and the other one didn’t.”
It’s not always the most “technically qualified” person that gets the job. An employer wants to hire the best complete package. Communication, personality, professionalism, and tenacity have as much influence in the selection process as skills. As you go through your job search… making networking contacts and introduction calls, sending resumes, applying online, going to interviews and making other connections… how well do you follow up? Be consistent. It does make a difference!