As a hiring manager seeking talented technical candidates, there is one thing that I expect from all candidates that I interview. Whether the interview is in-person, phone or Hangout interview, I still expect it. It’s a very simple gesture, yet overlooked by many candidates during the job search — the Thank You note. Why do I feel this thank you is so important? Do I need to feel empowered by someone giving me thanks just for talking to them? No. Am I looking to hear how wonderful of an experience it was to chat with me for an hour? Nope (and if someone were to tell me that, I might be a little skeptical). The Thank You note serves a variety of purposes…
Sending a Thank You note shows you know basic job seeking etiquette
Part of the interviewing process is to find areas that disqualify a candidate. Lots of scrutinizing in search of potential red flags. If you don’t know this basic job seeking courtesy…what else don’t you know?
It gives you an opportunity to highlight what you bring to the table for the position
This is optional, but you can remind the hiring manager that you do have 3 years experience building widgets (presumably for a position you interviewed where they need a widget builder)! It also gives an opportunity to strengthen any areas that may not have been as strong. “Although, I have not worked as a consultant, my role as X at company Y provided very similar, translatable experience.” I only recommend this if you felt you didn’t drive this home enough in the interview.
It shows the hiring manager that you are still interested in the position
You took the time to interview. You liked what you heard. The Thank You gives you a chance to affirm your interest in the position. “Well, what if I’m not interested?” Send a thank you anyhow. If you want to close the door on the position because you are absolutely certain it’s not the right fit for you, the Thank You allows this opportunity as well. My suggestion in this scenario is to omit the part where you say you don’t want the job. If you do not show much interest in your Thank You note, the hiring manager will likely know you’re just being courteous (which again, is the point).
You may now be thinking, “Ok, ok. I’ll send a Thank You already if you’ll just stop writing this blog post. Do you have any Thank You note suggestions”? Why yes, yes I do.
Is a candidate who fails to send a thank you note removed from my list of potential hires? No. However, it does raise a small yellow flag and give me a reason to question their potential. Given two candidates with similar skills, one sending a thank you and one neglecting to send a thank you, the candidate who sends a thank you will have an advantage. Technical Architect and Technical Specialist candidates…I look forward to our interviews and please take my advice. :)
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