When we were younger, our parents taught us the important building blocks of our lives like sending thank you notes to show our appreciation and gratitude anytime someone gave us a gift or did something nice for us. Whether it was a birthday gift, a celebratory gift to commemorate a milestone in our lives, or just a simple gesture from a friend, we found the time to send a thank you note. Even as we got older and experienced more life-changing events like weddings, baby showers, or deaths in the family, we still followed the same sentiment instilled in us when we were younger–send a thank you note! Throughout our lives, it has been a tradition that was carried on no matter what life circumstance occurred. It is only natural that this same sentiment would carry into our professional lives as we pursue jobs or make a career change to another field.
When we send resumes and apply for jobs, the next step is job interviews. When we go on a job interview, the hiring manager that is interviewing us already took the time to go through our resume, LinkedIn Profile, and cover letter. As we sit in front of them face to face, they are investing even more of their time to get to know us while giving us the opportunity to sell ourselves on why we can be an asset to their company. Given all of the candidates that apply for jobs, it is very meaningful that a hiring manager invested this much time in us to help us get to this point in our job search with a job interview. As a way of acknowledging the time and hard work the hiring managers put in on our behalf, it is only proper that we should carry this same tradition of sending thank you notes to our job search as well. It is a simple gesture that lets hiring managers know that we appreciate their time. From a strategic perspective, it is also our opportunity to keep our name current with hiring managers while conjuring up positive thoughts in hiring managers’ minds. If we had a good job interview and really made a connection, why wouldn’t we want to follow up by saying thank you for your time and oh, by the way, I just wanted to remind you why I am a good fit for the company.
During my career, I was also a hiring manager at one point for a company that I worked for. I was in charge of sourcing and recruiting candidates to fill job openings we had in our company. A lot of people applied to jobs and I conducted a lot of job interviews over the years. But the ones that always stood out to me as a hiring manager were the ones that sent me thank you notes after our job interviews. If I was on the fence about someone or if I had not made my hiring decision yet, the ones that sent me thank you notes were the ones that got more of my attention. Because this habit of sending thank you notes was instilled in me, I felt like the candidates that sent me thank you notes shared similar characteristics with me and my work ethic. Since I was going to be working very closely and/or supervising these candidates, it was a determining factor for me as a hiring manager as to whether or not I should call someone in for a second interview or just plain hire them on the spot! If they had the integrity to acknowledge, respect, and appreciate my time in a professional capacity because of a job interview, then it would be an indicator of what type of employee they would be within my organization. As someone that grew up always, always sending thank you notes, I can tell you that really made an impression on me when I saw other candidates doing the same thing. Their resumes were reflections of their achievements and education, but their thank you notes were reflections of their character and the type of respectful employee they would be. You can have the best resume that highlights your expertise, the most strategic LinkedIn Profile, or the most intriguing Professional Value Proposition (PVP), but all of that means nothing if you don’t show your grace and appreciation to someone that took the time to learn more about you and give you an opportunity to advance your career.
We should all keep thank you letters in mind during our personal and professional lives no matter what the circumstance! When we take the time to send thank you notes after job interviews, it really has a positive effect on hiring managers’ perceptions of us. When we send thank you notes to people in our lives for doing something for us, it speaks volumes about us as a person and how we appreciate another person’s thoughtfulness, kind gesture, or time invested. The same holds true professionally. It also speaks volumes to hiring managers if we don’t send thank you letters that show how much we appreciate their time and attention. If we do something nice for someone, it does not leave us with a warm and fuzzy feeling if they do not thank us for our efforts or acknowledge our kind gesture. Hiring managers feel that way too sometimes. Just think about how many job interviews they conduct or how many hours they devote to reviewing resumes and LinkedIn Profiles. A simple thank you letter would definitely set us apart–right??? Even just from a strategic perspective, we also have the upper hand as a job seeker because we are making sure hiring managers know who we are based on our resume and remember the impression we made based on our follow through with a thank you letter. So the moral of the story is this–always, always, always send a thank you letter to hiring managers after job interviews because it makes them feel appreciated and allows us the opportunity to keep our name current in a highly competitive job market.