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Advice from a job seeker on the importance of thank you notes

Posted by Pattie Hunt Sinacole  May 20, 2012 07:24 AM

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Q: For the first time in two years, I won't be reading your chat on Monday. I wanted to share what landed me my new great job: my thank you note to one of the individuals with whom I interviewed. In my note, I committed to helping the company achieve one of its most important goals. For some reason, that commitment totally sold them on me. So my advice to job hunters is never underestimate the power of the thank you note.

A: When I read your submission to the Job Doc column, I had to read and re-read it again. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t ignore or miss a question.

After I read it several times, I wanted to do a dance in my office. After my urge to dance subsided, I wanted to stand on my chair and yell “I told you so people, I told you so!” I decided both responses were a little too juvenile but I should share with you that I thought long and hard about doing both.

Thank you for sharing your experience and your success. Thank you notes are critically important to a job search. They can “make it or break it” for a job seeker. You are living proof.

Even if a colleague, a contact or someone has spent time with you, a thank you note should be sent or emailed. Even if you have been rejected and turned down, a thank you note should be sent. Several job seekers have recently shared with me a common interview experience. The job seeker is a finalist but ultimately another candidate receives the offer. Although sometimes incredibly disappointed, the candidate sends a thank you note and maintains a relationship with the recruiter. Weeks or months pass and the recruiter contacts them for another opportunity. Finally, the job seeker receives an offer.

I truly appreciate you sharing your experience. Thank you for writing. Best of luck in your new role!

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Meet the Jobs Docs

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.