Cover Letters and Thank You Notes: Why You Need To Send Them
Do you send cover letters?
How about thank you notes?
If you’re serious about your job search, you should.
I’ve read quite a few posts about cover letters and thank you notes. I’ve written several myself.
If you’re serious about your job search you need to take every opportunity to sell yourself to recruiters and employers.
Yes, an achievement-based resume and compelling LinkedIn profile that demonstrate your value are essential.
But don’t discount the value of cover letters and thank you notes.
How To Get A Response To Your Email
There are mixed opinions about cover letters. Some recruiters say a solid cover letter can move them to contact a candidate. Others say they never read cover letters.
Since you don’t know what a recruiter might do, the best bet is to always send one.
Thank you notes are different. The majority (80%) of hiring managers say a candidate’s thank you note is helpful with 22% saying very helpful and 58% saying somewhat helpful according to a 2017 survey by Accountemps.
So, it seems that sending thank you notes is a must. Despite that HR managers report that only 24% of candidates send them.
Just as with a resume, content is KING in your cover letters and thank you notes. You need to demonstrate your value as it relates to the employer. In essence, what you can do for them.
But it’s important to pay attention to the little things too.
An Easy Way To Stand Out From Your Competition
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.
Since so few people do send thank you notes, sending one will make you stand out. A well-written note can propel you along the interview process. 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, for example “thank you for your time, blah, blah, blah,” will help, making a strong case for why you are the best candidate for the job is a much better way to turn the tables in your favor.
One of the reasons people don’t send thank you notes is because they don’t know what to say.
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.
5 Ways To Be Remembered (In A Good Way)
In our competitive job market, many candidates are competing for each position. There is only one winner and there’s no prize for second place.
Everyone looking for a job has heard that it’s important to send a thank you note. But the percentage who follow through is small.
That means, sending a thank you note is a sure way to stand out in a positive way.
It’s one of the quickest, and easiest, ways to get an employer’s attention. To keep you top-of-mind once the interview is over.
Here are 5 ways to make sure you continue to be remembered in a good way.
#1 Act Fast
Send a thank you ASAP. Try to email a note as soon as you can. Have a thank you template that you can revise as needed depending on the specific job interview. Unless your handwriting is illegible you might want to follow up with a handwritten note as well. When was the last time you received anything besides a business letter in the office mail?