By Meg Guiseppi
Old-fashioned good manners are surprisingly effective these days.
If you're in a job search, or even contemplating one, here's a piece of advice to position yourself above your competition:
That's right. Get into the habit of sending hand-written thank you's to just about anyone you interact with in your job search – everyone involved in interviews, people in your network who provide introductions, employers and colleagues who write recommendations, etc.
With an estimated mere 5% of job seekers sending thank you's after interviews, the impact for those who take advantage of this little-used strategy can be significant.
Clients have told me that thank-you notes were the deciding factor in landing a new job. The decision was down to the wire. My clients sent thank you's, the others didn't. The people hiring them said they were so impressed by the effort that it tipped the scales in my clients' favor.
Emailed thank you's are okay, and sometimes the only option if timing is a factor, but they just don't have the impact a snail-mailed one does. Think about how you feel when you get a thank you note in the mail, for whatever reason. You're impressed that this person took the time and consideration to sit down, pen some thoughts, and pop it in the mail, aren't you?
Here's what a well-written, personalized thank you note accomplishes following an interview:
According to Laura DeCarlo and Susan Guarneri in their excellent book, "Job Search Bloopers," here are some things to keep in mind with your thank you notes:
Beyond the interview process, remember to send thank you's to people in your network who helped you. Acknowledging your appreciation can make all the difference in keeping you and your personal brand top of mind with them for opportunities they hear about that may be a good fit for you.
Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert and 20+ year careers industry veteran, has earned 10 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Social Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master. Meg is the author of "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at ExecutiveCareerBrand.com for c-suite personal branding and executive job search help and on Google+ and Twitter (@MegGuiseppi).