For those fresh out of college and new in the job market, getting an interview can be a daunting task. Picking out the perfect outfit: scary. Acing the interview: even scarier. But if you think first impressions stop there, you are horribly mistaken.
What comes next is post-interview thank you note… and it is more important than you think.
I know what you’re thinking: You’ve been sending thank you notes since your sixth birthday party. The first mistake you can make is not sending a thank you note at all, but if you make some of these other errors, you may end up wishing it got lost in the mail. Sending it too late, doing it via email, being overly generic, being inappropriate, and talking only about the job and yourself could make you post-interview more harmful than helpful.
Here are the five biggest mistakes you can make with post-interview thank you notes…
1. Emailing Your Post-Interview Thanks
Think about the number of emails your potential employer has to weed through on a daily basis. Chances are, there could be hundreds, and half of them are probably skimmed as closely as your college textbooks. A card sent via snail mail shows true sentiment and effort. Everyone loves an old-fashioned letter, right?
2. Sending Too Late After the Interview
Waiting until the interviewer has either forgotten about you or become interested in hiring someone else makes success doubtful. Since I already suggested sending snail mail (a nickname that doesn’t scream timeliness), a good way to make sure your sparkling hire-me-now letter arrives on time is to send it the day of the interview. This will help with remembering everything you connected on during the interview and personalizing it to a tee.
3. Having One Generic Thank You Note for Every Occasion
Similar to cover letters and resumes, crafting an interview thank you note takes careful attention to the specific job and person. Having one letter where you change the names in it is an easy way to sound dull and leaves a lot of room for making mistakes. If you need inspiration for unique letters, check out some sample thank yous, but remember to customize each one and let your personality shine through!
4. Talking Only about the Job and Yourself
In the interview, you had your chance to shine, brag and beyond. In a thank you note, you should be doing exactly that — thanking them. Don’t waste a stamp just to talk yourself up some more. Leave the employer feeling so appreciated and complimented they want to read your note again and again.
5. Seeming Too Comfortable
Of course, you want all of your charm to jump off the paper the second it leaves the envelope. You don’t, however, want to risk sounding too informal. Choose your words carefully, because there are some things you should never say in your thank you note. Definitely, avoid being sarcastic or over-confident. They haven’t offered the job yet.
Once you’ve sent the perfect thank you note, all you’ll have to worry about is what to wear on your first day of work.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Campus to Career!