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6 ways to write a memorable post-interview thank-you note

GUEST BLOG: Have you ever sent a follow up thank-you note after an interview? Is it a nice gesture or a bit over the top? Here our guest writer, Grace Carter discusses how to get the follow up note right.

There are several ways you can make your post-interview thank-you note memorable. Make your note stand out from the rest by personalizing it, using a memorable delivery method, timing it correctly, using quality materials, being professional, and using online writing and editing tools to make it shine.

1 – Personalize your note

You can make your note memorable by mentioning a few references to the interview, these specific points will help separate you from the other applicants. Perhaps during the interview you discovered that both you and the recruiter attended the same university, you could touch on this shared experience. It’s good to personalize, but do be careful not to be too informal, even if you feel you built up some good rapport with the interviewer. Personalizing doesn’t have to take much time, but at the very least it is good to address the note to the person, or group, that interviewed you. In your greeting for any post-interview note you should express your excitement about the position, but try and customize each greeting a bit. Doing this shows that you care about the process. Sending out generic notes to everyone you interview with is not recommended.

2 – Delivery method

Email is probably the most sensible choice, since hiring managers generally check their email once a day or more, and are probably expecting to receive your note this way. You can also send a LinkedIn direct message, the downside being the recipient may not receive it right away, depending on how often they check that inbox. A handwritten note will definitely stand out in the hiring manager’s memory, if you can guarantee they receive it on time, before they make their final decision. These notes are great if you are applying for a different position at your company or an office nearby. In these cases you can ensure timely delivery by dropping them off yourself.

3 – Get the timing right

“It’s critical to send out your note as soon as possible, so the hiring manager can read it before a decision is made. Of course, this is not to suggest you should slap it together; put some thought into it. This is your last chance to make an impression,” advises Mary Schober, HR manager at Academized. Applicants will sometimes show up to an interview with a note already written, and hand it to the hiring manager once the interview has ended. Do not do this. You will appear disingenuous. How could you write a note about an experience you have not gone through yet? The purpose of your note is to express your gratitude for their time and professionalism, and this will be totally lost if they know you wrote the note beforehand. It becomes a meaningless gesture that only serves to reflect poorly on you.

4 – Use quality materials

Choose clean, professional looking stationary or email templates to write your note on. You want to be taken seriously as a professional, and those cute polka dot templates you use for friends won’t have the same impact on a hiring manager. Think of these materials as part of your personal brand. Everything about them should imply serious, professional job-seeker. Choose easily readable font and format if you are using email, and nothing affiliated with your former employer. Use a personal email with an appropriate handle and a signature that includes your contact information.

5 – Be professional

Sometimes you will have an interview where you really clicked with the hiring manager and the interview feels more relaxed and informal. Be careful in these situations not to carry this relaxed and informal tone into your thank-you note. Be professional in your tone, use proper prefixes and correct language, use proper tenses and grammar. Resist the temptation to use slang and emojis, even if you feel you have great rapport with the interviewer. Take this opportunity to show off your writing skills. It’s much better to be remembered for your professional writing than for fouling up and using slang in your thank-you letter.

6 – Use online writing and editing tools

Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone, so don’t hesitate to get some help from the professionals. Here are some good resources to get you started:

#1. Via Writing and State of Writing – These are grammar resources you can use to check over your thank-you note for grammatical errors. You definitely do not want your final impression to be one of someone who can’t be bothered to check their copy over.

#2. CV Service and Write My Paper – These are proofreading tools, recommended by UKTopWriters, you can use to ensure your note is polished and free of errors.

#3. Writing Populist and My Writing Way – Check out these writing blogs for ideas and advice on how to improve your thank-you note. You will find posts by people who have been in your same situation.

#4. EssayRoo and OXEssays – These are online editing tools, suggested by SimpleGrad in Essayroo review, you can use to make sure your note does not have any errors.

#5. AcademAdvisor and LetsGoandLearn – Check out these writing guides for extra help writing your note. Even experienced writers can benefit from some help from time to time.

Next Steps

· When you’re in your next interview, try and take mental notes on important things that come up in the interview, specifics you can touch on in your follow up letter, and specifically things you can mention that will make yours memorable. Preparation is key to writing a memorable post-interview thank-you note, and that preparation begins as soon as the interview starts.

· Remember to personalize your note, boilerplate notes are easy, but won’t help you stand out. Depending on your circumstances, a hand-written note may be a good way to be memorable, but only if you can guarantee timely delivery. Make sure you don’t dawdle in writing and sending out your note. Choose quality materials that reflect your status as a professional, and use online tools to improve the writing quality of your note.

 

Grace Carter is a business writer at Paper Fellows and Assignment Help services. Also, Grace teaches online courses at Bigassignments.com, academic website.

How to take the fear out of interviews

You’ve done perhaps the hardest part of the recruitment process, stood out from the potential 100+ other applicants and been called to a face-to-face interview. But this is a scary prospect for many, with your chance at the job resting on your performance. Make sure yours doesn’t turn into the stuff of nightmares, here are our top tips to take the fright out of interviews.

1) Proper preparation – you’ll be surprised how often candidates turn up at the wrong place, wrong time or ask for the wrong person. Make sure you know who you’re meeting, where and when. Find out the best route, how long it will take and anything that could cause delays. Factor all this in when planning your journey. Avoid any last minute panics and plan your outfit in advance. Check everything still fits and is clean – the red wine stain on your suit from a wedding last summer won’t make the best first impression, nor will the blouse with a button missing.

2) Research – researching the company is as much about making sure the organisation is right for you as it is about impressing the interviewer. Visit the company website, look at the products and services they have to offer, if they have one, read their blog or any recent news articles. Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages. This will help give an insight into their company culture and the issues they feel strongly about for example. You don’t need to stop at researching the organisation, the majority of workers in the UK have a LinkedIn profile, while we’re not suggesting you link with your interviewer, you can have a look at their profile and that of other people within the organisation.

3) Practice – unless you’re a serial job hunter, interviewing isn’t something you do on a regular basis. As with anything to ease your nerves you feel comfortable. Practicing, as they say makes perfect. An interview is basically a sales pitch, and you’re the product. As any salesman will tell you, if you don’t know your product you won’t be able to sell it. Print out your CV, go through your skills and experience. Think about any key achievements and make a note of key stats, such as savings made, leads generated etc.. Compare your CV to the job description and try to pull out specific examples of how you meet their requirements. Have a go at answering some common interview questions and get acquainted with the STAR interview technique. This will all help to ease any anxiety and reduce the interview jitters.

4) Keep calm – it’s an easy thing to say, but harder to do. Interviews can be nerve wracking, but try to relax and not let nerves get the better of you. Take some deep breaths, try to think of it as an exciting experience, that could lead to a new job. Rather than something you must endure.

 

For more job seeking help and advice check out our handy hints page or watch our quick byte videos.

How to stay resilient during your job search

Looking for a job takes time and energy. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period it is very easy to lose confidence and motivation. The more resilient you are, the more productive and effective your job search will be. Here are some ways you can help to build up your resilience and help to keep your search on track.

  1. Routine – for most of us our lives have been dictated by routine. The 9-3 of school and then the 9-5 of working life. Without the framework of a job to guide you, it is easy to lose focus. Before you know it, days have passed and you’ve haven’t made any real progress. Try to establish a routine and stick to it. Get up at the same time every day, schedule activities for certain times, for example an hour looking for relevant jobs, 2 hours networking and reaching out to contacts etc. Whatever tasks you set, try to stick to them it will help you be more productive and keep you focussed on your goal.
  2. Rejuvenate – looking for work can be draining, and it can easily take over all your thoughts. It’s not good to spend too much time focused on a single activity. You need to take a break. Find something you enjoy doing and make time to do this every day. Allowing your brain to switch off from looking for work will help to revive it and let you attack the task with more energy when you return.
  3. Stay engaged – just because you aren’t working don’t distance yourself from your profession. Keep up-to-date with the latest news and happenings, this will not only keep you connected but also give you relevant information and help with any interviews. If there are ICEAW and/or CABA event you can attend, do so.
  4. Stay healthy – Eating well and exercising regularly are good for the brain as well as the body. Don’t become a ‘couch potato’. Apart from anything, daytime TV can itself be soul destroying.
  5. Be positive – it is easy to say but try to remain positive. Our brains can be hard-wired to think the worst and to notice and focus on the bad. ‘I’m not going to get the job anyway’ if you go into an interview or application process with a negative attitude it won’t help. Going with a positive attitude such as, ‘I might not have all the experience, but I really feel my skills fit’ or just a simple ‘I can do this’ will all have an impact on your performance.
  6. You can’t win them all – when looking for work you will receive more rejections than offers. Be realistic when applying for roles, while you might want to apply for as jobs as possible, this just means you’ll receive more rejections. Try to only apply for roles where you feel you are a good match with regards to skills and experience, to jobs that you would actually accept if you were offered. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time and increasing the number of rejections you receive. Remember looking for work is business, it’s not personal. If you’re not called to interview, 2nd interview or offered the role it isn’t a personal attack. You just weren’t right for that role. As hard as it is, dust yourself off and look for the next opportunity.

‘How to stay resilient during your job search……’ was written by Gemma Smith, Career Concierge, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

Want to save money on recruitment?

Recruitment can be a bit of a vicious circle for SME organisations. In order to grow and become more successful they need talented people. But to recruit these people takes time and recruitment expertise. Something that is often lacking within smaller companies.

There is of course a plethora of recruitment agencies ready and willing to help them with recruiting their key players. But this comes with, at times, a rather hefty price tag. Smaller organisations have less bargaining power and tend to be charged higher rates by recruiters. They can pay up to 25% of the annual salary to recruit a role. A few vacancies a year and this quickly adds up to a substantial amount. Something that smaller organisations could do without spending.

What can be done to save money on recruitment?

There is the simple option of doing it yourself. While it will no doubt save you money on recruitment, it will take up an inordinate amount of time. From reading and assessing the potential 100 CVs per vacancy, to speaking to and interviewing possible candidates and searching for those hidden gems on LinkedIn. Whoever is given the responsibility of hiring, will soon find that it can take over from their day-to-day tasks.

This is where we come in. We like to do things a little differently and have changed the way recruitment works. We’ve split the traditional recruitment process into three easy to understand modules. They give you the chance to only pay for the elements you need, whether that’s simply creating a pipeline of CVs for you to manage yourself to a full consultancy service that includes pro-active headhunting.

Our fees are payable upfront and range from £850 to £2,899. This represents a substantial saving compared to traditional agencies. Check out our savings calculator and you can see for yourself how you can save money on recruitment.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got over 20 years’ recruiting experience behind us, so you’ll still get an expert recruitment service, just at a new fairer price.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then please get in touch and we can show you how we can help you find talented individuals and save money on recruitment at the same time.

Is employee wellbeing high up on your agenda?

Employee wellbeing has become bit of a buzz word in recent years, moving from being something that the Google and Apples of the world do, to something that has made it’s way to the agenda of many smaller organisations.  But what is it and how can you implement a wellbeing strategy into your workplace?  We spoke to Nisha Gera of wellbeing specialists Joyful Living  for some advice.

Guest blog: Nisha Gera from Joyful Living

Is wellbeing at work is high up on your list of priorities? From improving motivation and productivity to helping to reduce attrition employee wellbeing initiatives can have a positive impact for businesses both large and small. This has seen them grow in popularity and move up the board room agenda in the past few years.

But what is wellbeing at work and how can you begin to implement it into your organisation?

Wellbeing initiatives can come in many shapes and sizes from simple one-day courses on a range of subjects to more detailed week-long or ongoing programmes.

Single subject courses
These are the most basic of well being initiatives and can cover a variety of subjects in a single lesson/course.  These range from nutrition, stress management, posture awareness to the more interesting and fun focused, laughter yoga.

These single subject programmes allow you to tailor your efforts to the needs of your organisation and employees. For example, posture and stress management are more suited for those with high pressure office based roles, whereas nutrition would help those field based sales people who eat on the go every day.  They also allow businesses with a smaller budget to access help for their staff. For those who need to gain management buy-in before committing to any long-term activity, these starter sessions allow you to sample and monitor the impact before making any further investment.

Timed programmes

Wellbeing is a relatively new concept within the business world, often a good way to kick start a corporate wellbeing program and to focus attention of both leadership and employees is to run a week/month long programme.  For example, holding daily sessions that staff can book, having health professionals available to speak too, supplying healthy breakfasts, snacks or lunches.

Ongoing programmes

Ongoing employee wellbeing programs go beyond simply offering sessions on how to improve posture or stress.  By investing in a long-term wellbeing strategy, you, as an organisation, are investing time and effort into your employees’ mental and physical health.  This can start with monthly or weekly desk based massages for example, but it needed end there, as discussed in this article by the Guardian one PR firm is going further… ‘Initiatives range from offering pedal points – five minutes additional holiday for every return journey walked or cycled to work – to free breakfasts, sabbaticals for staff with over five year’s service, and flexi-time hours and flexible working conditions.

In the past two years, the company has introduced a range of mental health initiatives, spanning mindfulness, pilates and resilience training on how to manage stress and busy workloads. It also runs regular updates for employees on mental health policy and employee counselling services.’

QVC UK is another example of an organisation putting wellbeing at work into practice. As well as offering flexible working, massages during breaks, two on-site beauticians and a local market, the company has launched its first employee allotment – giving staff the chance to grow their own fruit and vegetables. “Not only do they benefit mentally and physically from gardening, but they will also help local charities with donations and profits,” says a spokeswoman.

Whether you’re an SME or a multinational investing in the wellbeing of your employees will have a positive impact on your business.  As the examples above show it doesn’t need to be a costly exercise, implementing an element of flexibility to the working day, monthly desk-based office massage or running a bi-annual stress management workshop are all relatively low-cost ways that you can put wellbeing at work quickly into practice.

 

Guest blog by Nisha Gera of Joyful Living, provider of employee wellbeing services across the UK

 

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