The Post-interview Thank You Email is a Marketing Tool
Like the cover letter, the post-interview thank you email is not dead. Both are musts in a job search. And both are not what they appear on the surface. Cover letters and post-interview thank you emails are components of your job search marketing materials.
Whether it’s an informational interview or traditional job interview, you need to send a thank-you. Why? Stating the obvious, you want to show the person who generously gave you a chunk of their time, your appreciation. A thank-you does that. Your commitment to your job search and/or the job is, like it or not, judged based on whether you send a note and what you say in it.
Let’s end the debate on email versus handwritten note
Every hiring manager I’ve spoken with says emails are the way to say thank you. A thank-you email goes out within 24 hours of the interview. Mail simply takes too long to reach people, especially if their job requires travel. Business works this way and when you follow the 24-hour rule, it shows you know how to be professional. You also want to contribute to the positive impression you made with the hiring manager or interviewer while you are top of mind. There done.
Thank-you emails are not just thank-yous
I prefer to think of the thank-you email as just one component of your post-interview communication plan—a plan that considers how you stay top of mind with the hiring manager during your job search and the hiring process. You are marketing yourself. (For more information read…Proactive No Annoying Ways to Follow Up.)
The content of a thank-you email seems to stump job-seekers. It shouldn’t although you do need to give thought to the message you want to convey. Here’s a thank-you email indicative of what I see from college students, new and recent grads who are in a first-time job search.
“I want to thank you for talking with me yesterday. It was so nice meeting you. I think this is a job I will thrive in and enjoy. I look forward to hearing from you.”
Yes, it’s short but that’s not the problem.
To all the Academy Award winners (all of them) and to everyone else, if you want to thank someone you thank them. Why does the interviewer care if think you will thrive? How does it leverage the positive impression you left?
There’s a way to use the post-interview thank-you as a marketing tool. Yes, you should start a thank-you email by thanking the person for their time, then talk about your value to the job and the company and end with a recap of the next steps you were told. Here’s a more effective way to write a thank-you email.
Thank you for taking time to talk with me about the associate production assistant position. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the position and the company. I’m certain I will add value to the team both because of my course work and that I’ve sought experiences to gain the skills needed for a career in the entertainment industry. Specifically,
▪I’m a catalyst for implementing ideas and making things happen.
▪I have the ability to quickly gain insight into people and gain their trust.
▪I’m curious and take advantage of every opportunity to learn.
I look forward to meeting more of the team members and continuing in the hiring process.
Major, University Class of 2016
Phone l email l LinkedIn
The above works because the thank-you email markets the candidate reminding the interviewer about the value she brings to the position. It also works because the candidate used bullet points to highlight what she absolutely wanted to make sure was read by the interviewer who will likely spend :3-:6 seconds reading the email.
The next time you have a job interview write a thank-you email that positions you as the best candidate for the position.