The Value of “Thank You”

By: Trish Freshwater

Saying “thank you” is something most of us do without even thinking: after a waitress serves a meal, a sales clerk helps you find a particular item, someone holds a door open, or after you sneeze and someone nearby says,

“God bless you.”

These pleasantries are part of our daily routines – our American culture. Likewise, “thank you” seems to rise in value when it’s in the written form. Even more if it’s hand written.

In the job seeking world, a simple thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for the interviewers, your values, and interest in the job. But these days, is it okay to send a text thank you? How about an e-mail? Does it have to be a hand-written note on a fancy card or stationery?

Choosing the Right Thank You

Can I text a thank you?

While text messaging is a popular way to communicate, it may not be the best choice for a thank you message after a job interview unless you have already established a pattern of texting with the individual. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consider an e-mail instead.

Can I e-mail a thank you?

Sending an e-mail is perfectly okay. It’s a great way to send a timely message thanking the interviewer for his or her time and to follow up on your conversation, the same day. This can be helpful if the hiring manager is traveling and plans to make a hiring decision before returning to the office. However, to really make an impression, you still should send a hand-written note in addition to your e-mail.

What to include: Remember to start off with an opening, thank the person for his or her time and mention something brief about how you are a good fit for the position. Don’t forget to close the message with a “thank you” or other closing statement and include a signature that has your contact info and a link to your LinkedIn profile or other relevant website.

Do I have to send a paper note?

A hand-written thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for an interviewer. They also help you stand out from the crowd as many people don’t send thank you notes in this format.

Hand-written thank you notes can be written on a half sheet of blank card stock or on a generic, blank thank you note. In fact, I keep a box of the blank thank you notes in my desk so that I always have them on hand.

What to include: This note will be much like your e-mail message – including an opening, two or three sentences about why you’re excited about the job and why you’re the best qualified, and a brief closing that thanks the interviewer for his or her time. Most importantly, you want to write this note the same day of your interview and get it in the mail right away. Check out these sample thank you letters for help in writing yours.

A Little Thank You Goes a Long Way
In today’s fast-paced world, I recommend sending an e-mail thank you on the same day that you interview for a position. Sometimes a hiring manager is anxious to make a decision quickly – so they won’t have time to wait for your thank you card to arrive in the mail. However, it’s also really important to send the hand-written note, too, as it will show your attention to detail and will speak volumes about your personal character.

On average, about half of candidates don’t send a thank you note. So, taking just a few minutes to send thank you notes can really make you stand out from other qualified candidates. The time you invest in writing these notes will be worth the effort.

The Five Commandments of Job Searching

By: Yolanda Owens

In the current employment climate, landing a job may feel like a task that can only be achieved through divine intervention. But if relying on a wing and a prayer isn’t part of your job pursuit, then here are five employment commandments to help you get to the occupational pearly gates.

Thou shalt not be a spaghetti thrower.
You know that old trick of testing spaghetti to see if it’s done by throwing some against the wall and watching if any sticks? Well many of you approach your job search the way.In your frustration, you’re throwing everything against the wall. We get the concept of casting a wider net. But there is no need to apply for every job on a company’s career site in hopes that one of the applications will stick.

Not only will this leave you with a mess you won’t want to clean, it will also leave employers with the impression you’re not serious about their company or putting any thought into your job search. Be strategic and thoughtful in the roles you apply to. Not seeing anything that fits what you’re looking for? Then check your LinkedIn contacts and find friends with connections to the companies you want to work for and ask for an introduction. An introduction now could lead to an opportunity later…And you won’t be wearing spaghetti on your face.

Thou shalt let hooked on phonics work for you.

Save yourself and the employers whose jobs you’re applying to some frustration and read before you respond. Whether it’s the job description, an email about an interview or potential meeting, an application, or an invitation, take the time to READ (not skim, assume, or guess) what’s being said or asked before you react.

Keep in mind that there could be hundreds of applicants applying to the same job. So the deciding factor could boil down to who’s able to read more effectively without interrupting the manager or recruiter with endless questions that have already been put in writing. Exercise patience and your reading comprehension skills and let hooked on phonics work for (not against) your job search.

Thou shalt always dress to impress.
Just because a company embraces casual Fridays or has a business casual dress code, doesn’t mean you come to your interview dressed for happy hour on the beach. Always dress in professional business attire (suit, tie, skirt, heels…) when going for interviews and make sure the clothing is clean, pressed, and presentable. You should never show up to an interview with mustardy armpits or look like a balled up piece of paper in sensible shoes. Be well dressed so you’re remembered for your many attributes and not your fashion flaws.

Thou shalt not commit stalking.

As a recruiter, this commandment is near and dear to my heart. We understand you want to get our attention and stand out among the masses. But invading personal space will not win you any brownie points in the attention grabbing game. So please don’t blindly friend recruiters and managers on their personal social networks, personal emails, websites, or personal cell phones in hopes of making a good first impression.

Trust me, this is the quickest way to get your credentials added to the recycle bin or blacklisted in larger recruiting circles. Use this as your litmus test; if you’d feel weirded out by someone doing the same thing to you, you should probably rethink your actions.
Thou shalt not talk in generalities.

Employers aren’t looking for generally speaking when reviewing candidates to fill their roles. They want candidates who can give them specific examples of what they bring to the table. So don’t come to the table regurgitating the job description or spouting what someone in the role would generally do.

Instead, talk about what you’ve done in your previous jobs to improve a process, save money, be more efficient, demonstrate your leadership or accentuate teaming skills. Then take it a step further and quantify these examples. Explain how your process improvement caused 25% fewer defects saved the company $5000 and freed up four hours a day in production time. That says a lot more to employers than the fact you created a spreadsheet.

Author
Yolanda M. Owens is a recruiting sensei, intern whisperer and awarding-winning author of How to Score a Date with Your Potential Employer. Learn more about Yolanda and her employer “dating” tips by visiting her website or fan her on Facebook.

Turning a Business Card Into a Relationship

By: Ronisha Goodwin on November 15th, 2011

I give my business card to a ton of students each semester. Sometimes I hear from the students who ask for my card, and sometimes I don’t!

I often wonder why a student asks for a business card and then doesn’t reach out to me. It seems like such a wasted effort! But yesterday a student asked me for tips on how to develop a relationship with a recruiter, specifically what to do after you receive their business card. The student’s question made me consider if the reason why some students don’t contact me after I give them my business card is because they just aren’t sure what to do next. Recognizing that this may be the case, here’s a few suggestions on what you can do to develop a relationship with a recruiter or industry contact after receiving their business card.

Send an e-mail
Start with reaching out via e-mail. The purpose of your e-mail is to reintroduce yourself to the recruiter and open up a dialogue between the two of you. Your e-mail should be about 5-6 sentences in duration and sent within 3 days of the recruiter giving you their business card. Include in your e-mail where you met the recruiter (specify the event….career fair, reception, etc.) and the opportunity or program you’re interested in learning more about or applying for with their company. You may want to include 1 or 2 questions as well; these questions will help your recruiter with shaping their response to your message.

Follow up
You and your recruiter may exchange one or two messages after you send your initial e-mail. You did great by taking the initiative to reach out to the recruiter, so what’s key from here is that you follow up. If you know that the recruiter is returning to your campus or the two of you will be attending the same industry event or conference, you now have a perfect opportunity to send another message.

Your level of follow up will help you stand apart from the masses. I may not remember every e-mail I receive from a student, but I do recall those students who consistently reach out to me or make the effort to build a relationship. Just be mindful that you don’t overwhelm the recruiter with too many messages. I suggest you limit your correspondence to no more than 1-2 messages each semester depending, of course, upon the recruiter’s responses.

Be sure to include details within your messages that will help delicately sell you as a candidate. If since the last time you spoke with the recruiter, you made Dean’s List, were voted into a leadership role within a student organization, or will be studying abroad, these are all tidbits of information worth sharing within your message. Just keep in mind you want to be subtle!

Response time
Lastly, be understanding and a bit flexible in regards to your recruiter’s response time. Depending upon their work and travel schedule, they may not respond to your messages right away. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Remember that the two of you developing a relationship is as much a benefit to the recruiter as it is to you. I’m much more confident when offering a candidate that I’ve interacted with many times versus a candidate that I’ve had limited interactions with before offering them a position, because I feel it’s more likely that the candidate that I’ve built a relationship will accept my offer.

Developing a relationship with a recruiter may initially appear as formidable task, but once you take the first step, you’ll realize it’s much easier than you think!

Author
Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers. Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee. During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at blog.hyatt.jobs.