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It is amazing to think that Halloween is just around the corner! With this holiday, expect to see ghosts, gremlins, ghouls, and Creeds soon.

As terrifying as these monsters can seem, they’re nothing compared to the process of looking, applying, interviewing, and following up for a new opportunity. One of the main issues our candidates face is writing post-interview Thank You Notes, so we thought we would give you a list of “dos and don’ts” for yours!

Here are some things that  can make your post-interview “thank you” note especially scary:

  1. Not sending one:

    Not sending a Thank You note to an employer can be especially detrimental to your chances of being hired. 56% of employers surveyed by Careerbuilder stated that if someone does not send a thank you note, it “indicates that the candidate isn’t really serious about the position” for which s/he interviewed.
  2. Not sending your thank you on time:

    If you send your note after 24 hours, it may be too late. There’s no excuse for procrastinating – even if you do have a pumpkin on your head, do your best to look through the carved eye-holes.
  3. Hot button issues:

    Take it from our Sith Lord, if you are writing something that seems questionable in your thank you note, it is probably best not to include it. Topics to avoid: politics, religion, scientific theories, taking care of mother earth, and anything else you can think of that could make you or someone else cringe…
  4. Giving advice to the person who interviewed you:

    This one falls in with the “hot button” issues. Although it may seem appropriate/intelligent, advice in a thank you note normally comes across like Erin’s thoughts above. Topics to avoid giving advice about: previous hires, salary parameters, other candidates, how to lead a team correctly, and anything else you would not want to hear if you had just interviewed someone.
  5. Grammar / Spelling Issues:

    This one is important, especially if your greatest strengths are attention to detail and writing skills. It’s always best to triple-check your thank you notes for spelling and grammar. If possible, having someone else read your note can really be helpful, too – you always know what you are trying to write, but the person receiving the note may not understand what you mean. Bad grammar, spelling, or incomplete thoughts may lead a hiring manager to rage like Devon White above.
  6. Insult your own skills:

    Your thank you note is your last chance after an interview to make an impression. There is absolutely no reason to include a sentence of “I know that I do not have x, but…”. The hiring manager already knows that you do not have experience with that – tell her what you do have experience with! You know what you are capable of accomplishing, make sure that gets through in your note.
  7. Sending an identical thank you to multiple people:

    This is a big no-no. Each of your thank you notes should be individualized. It is alright to say something similar in each; however, you should never send the exact same note to everyone. It will come across as impersonal…even if the second person is just a paper mache head…
  8. Complimenting the Hiring Manager:

    Other than an “I am very excited to work for your team/was really impressed with your management style”, stay away from compliments. Especially stay away from physical compliments – no managers want to know how attractive you think they are – it’s just plain creepy.

So how do we take the monsters out of a thank you note and make it great?

  1. Talk about the company:

    This is your time to let the company shine. Write about the things that excite you most about the company – the culture (maybe you love that they’re really into Halloween), the people, recent news events, the team you will be working with, etc. There is a reason you decided to interview with this company instead of thousands of others – let them know why!
  2. Talk about the opportunity:

    Why did you decide to interview for this exact opportunity? What excites you about the position you are interviewing for?
  3. Talk about you!

    What skills do you have that directly correlate to the job description and the conversations you had with your hiring manager? It’s best to list these skills and identify specific scenarios of when you used them. (And yes, we know this gif is from “Classy Christmas” in Season 7, but it was too good to pass up!)
  4. Actually thank the hiring manager!

    This is the whole point of the note – make sure you thank them for their time and the opportunity – without them, you wouldn’t have the opportunity for a new position! It really does go a long way – Kevin and Angela didn’t get thank you notes, and Oscar did – see how happy he is?

Magellan Search and Staffing knows that navigating your job search (and thank you notes) can be difficult. If you ever have any questions about your job search or are currently looking for a position, let us know: Here is our Careers Page!  

 

Sources: CareerBuilder, Google Image Search, and Giphy

 

Seamus Mooney is the Lead Research Analyst at Magellan Search and Staffing. He loves The Office and the Magellan office, and is currently living the dream.

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