An Easy Way To Stand Out From Your Competition

14850787_l (2)Differentiating yourself from the pack is one of the keys to a successful job search. A strong resume and robust LinkedIn profile will contribute to that. Having great interview skills will set you apart as well.

A search on Google will turn up a ton of articles on these job-search topics. Many appear on my blog.

One thing that’s not written about as often is the importance of sending a thank you note after a job interview. Sending a thank you note is one of those things that everyone knows they should do, yet very few people actually do it.

It’s unlikely that a thank you will make a difference if you’re not qualified, however, it can propel you along the interview process if you are. It may become a deciding factor when it’s the end of the interview process and the choice is between you and one or two other candidates.

While sending even a basic thank you note will set you apart, making a strong case for why you are the best candidate is your best chance of turning the tables in your favor.

So, what should you include?

Here are five suggestions:

  • Reiterate your enthusiasm for the company and the position. Maybe the company’s mission statement aligns with your values or the job makes great use of your preferred skills.
  • Offer solutions to any problems that were discussed during the interview. Give them a taste by providing the first 1 or 2 steps in your 30-day plan.
  • Mention something you forgot to say during the interview. This might be a problem you solved or a course you took that will enhance your candidacy.
  • Use this as an opportunity to correct any misconceptions that may have occurred. For example, if you misstated something or felt that you weren’t strong enough in your responses.
  • When you meet with several people, make sure you don’t send exactly the same thank you note to each person. Never, ever send a blanket email to everyone.

During the interview ask each interviewer for his or her business card. That way you’ll have their titles, the correct spelling of their names, and their email addresses. Send a thank you email within 24-hours.

Be sure to ask for the job in your thank you note. Be clear in your intention.  For example, instead of saying you hope to hear from them, say you look forward to working with them.

This may be your last chance to sell the hiring manager on your ability to solve his or her problems. Don’t waste it. A strategically-written thank you note may be the deciding factor between you and your strongest competition.