How To Write A Compelling Thank You Note

If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.

While this quote has been attributed to many, including Mark Twain and Winston Churchill, research tells us it was said by none.

Still, as any writer will tell you, it’s true.

It takes a lot longer to write a brief, compelling note than a lengthy, letter. That’s why composing a Thank You note is so tough.

Smart candidates email a thank you note within 24-hours.

A brief note. One that doesn’t require the reader to scroll. And scroll. And scroll.

Ideally, an e-thank you note, and e-cover letter, should run about 99 to 120 words. Which means you need to thank the interviewer and sell yourself quickly.

Beyond the requisite thank you, here are a few ideas of what you can include in a thank you note.

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Easy Ways To Make A Better First Impression

You’ve heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s particularly true during your job search

Certainly, having the right skills, experience, and, in some cases, education is essential. However, recruiters and employers may not notice if you don’t make a good first impression.

Good enough to make them want to learn more.

Recruiters and employers meet you different ways. It might be when they receive your resume. It might be when they view your profile on LinkedIn. Since you have no way of knowing, it’s important to cover all fronts.

Replacing your task-focused resume and bare-bones LinkedIn profile will certainly make you more marketable. (Think achievements-based, strategically written resume and robust, optimized LinkedIn profile.)

In the meantime, there are a few simple steps you can take to make a better first impression.

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2018 Job Search Prep

Hello 2018.

January is often the time when passive looking, turns into full on job searching. Holiday vacations are over. Bonuses have been divided between Christmas shopping and savings accounts.

If your goal is to find a new job this year, it’s time to get moving.

You can begin by starting on this list today.

Get Your Materials Together

First, make sure you resume is recruiter and hiring manager ready. Your resume is your calling card so make sure that it is a marketing document, which shows the impact you’ve had on your current and previous employers.

A boring employment history is not going to impress anyone. Employers want to know how you can solve their problems, you resume should clearly demonstrate your value in modern, easy-to-scan format.

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Don’t Rely On Job Boards To Find A Job

Job boards are not the holy grail. Yes, applying online should be part of your job search strategy. The key word of the sentence being “part.”

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is relying on online job postings to find a job.

Big mistake.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting at the computer responding to job postings. For one thing, it doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can do it at home wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt while watching TV.

At the end of the day, knowing you’ve applied to 20 jobs, gives you a sense of accomplishment.

The truth is, focusing on job boards isn’t the best use of your time.

It’s more effective to have a multi pronged approach.

Target Employers

At the start of your job search make a list of 10 employers you’d like to work for. These are your Target Employers. Contact your network to see who might have a connection for you. Set up Google alerts for each of them. Review job postings on their websites, at least once a week.

As a former recruiter, I can say that every job I was working was listed on the companies site. The only exceptions were “confidential” postings, i.e. when someone was being replaced without their knowledge.

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The Biggest Holiday Job Search Myth

Despite our 24/7 business culture, most job seekers think you can’t find a job during the holiday season. Even looking for work from Thanksgiving to January 1st is widely considered a waste of time.

This is the biggest holiday job search myth.

HUGE.

I say that from personal experience.

Years ago, when I was working in corporate, my phone rang just as I arrived home from our company’s holiday party. I was shocked to find that it was someone from HR calling to conduct a screening interview.

The conversation went well and a few days later someone else called to set up a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager. The interview was scheduled during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

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How To Avoid A Typical (Boring) Conversation

You’ve probably heard that networking is the best way to find a job. One reason is that people like to hire people they know, which expands to someone referred by someone they know.

Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable starting a conversation with a stranger. That makes it difficult to meet people at a networking event.

Why?

Unless you’re one of the first to arrive, many networking events are bustling from the moment you walk in the door. There are several groups chatting. Even worse are parties of two who seem in deep conversation.

One way to engage with a group is to stand close by and wait for an opportunity to join. Great connectors are always looking for people lurking and will invite them in to the conversation.

A more direct approach is to simply ask “Can I join you?”

I’ve never had anyone or any group say no.

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Job Search Expenses Tax Deductible?

No one disputes that looking for a new job can get a bit pricey. Upgrading your interview wardrobe, getting some business cards, and creating marketing documents all have a fee.

While having a professionally written resume will probably shorten your job search and may even help you get a higher salary, partnering with an experienced resume writer isn’t cheap.

The good news is that some of your job search expenses are tax deductible**

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9 Easily Avoidable Interview Blunders

There is no shortage of articles “how to succeed” in job interviews. You can find advice on how to answer tough questions, suggestions on what to wear and everything else in between. But, sometimes looking at other people’s mistakes can be an even better lesson.

With this in mind, I asked recruiters and hiring managers to send me some “Interview Bloopers” things that made them stop and say “I can’t believe that he or she just did that!”  Having worked in the career field for over a decade I’ve heard a lot of stories about inappropriate behavior by candidates. But, some of the submissions, including one candidate’s obsession with reality TV, shocked even me.

While some of these stories may make you chuckle, they should also serve as cautionary tales.

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