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.
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.
10 Simple Job Search Strategies That Work
1 Make a list of your target employers and try to network your way in. As your friends, family, LinkedIn connections, etc. if they know anyone who works for one of your choices.
2 Keep a record of the companies and positions where you have applied. This will save confusion if you are contacted by someone from HR or a recruiter who is working on a position you’ve already applied for.
15 Tips To Help You Succeed In Your Next Job Interview
Job interviews are nerve-racking to say the least. In many cases, this is the first “personal” connection you’ll have with someone at the company.
Your resume got you in the door. Now it’s up to you to show them your best self.
Here are 15 tips to help you make the most of your next job interview. You’ll notice that half of them involve planning in advance.
Before the Interview
- Plan more than enough time to get to in-person job interviews. Visit the location a day or two in advance to eliminate surprises.
- Use a landline whenever possible during phone interviews. If you must use your cell test the connection before your scheduled interview.
- If you are taking a phone interview at your office find a quiet, out-of-the-way place. Avoid the rest room, hallway, or stairs where someone from your office is likely to see you.
- Research the company in advance. Read through their website, it may give you come insight into the company culture.
- Review the company’s social media presence. What do they post? If there any interaction or just automatic posting?
- Research the people you’ll be interviewing with in advance. Many organizations have information on staff members. Take the time to look them up on LinkedIn too.
- Prepare answers to the most commonly asked interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake” and “What is your greatest weakness?”
- Have a few questions ready for when the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions?” The advance research you’ve done will help with this.
During the Interview