I love Generation Y.
They cut to the chase, no matter the topic. If the career advice is all theoretical and nonspecific, they want to know exactly what you meant. Create a simple elevator pitch? Great, how would you do mine? I should do “thank you” letters after the interview? Great, what should it say?
Simply writing a thank-you note puts you in the top 10 percent of job seekers, since most applicants don’t bother. But here are five things that should be in the letter that follows a job interview:
- Format: You can E-mail it, yes. But snail mail is best, whether typed or handwritten. It is too tempting and too easy to do a cut/paste thing with E-mail, and this letter should be personal and direct. It should also be perfectly done--from using correct spelling to using the correct postage.
- Basics: Thank the interviewer for her time and consideration for the job. Be specific about the job--”the customer service position in your branch office”--as they may have interviewed a dozen candidates for four different jobs that day.
- Show you listened: At some point during the interview, you probably heard something you most likely did not know about the job or company. Mention that briefly: “When you told me about X, I thought about Y.”
- One more time: During your interview, you should have focused your answers on what you can do for the company. Either refresh their memory about this or even better, give them one more thing. “I have been thinking about this position and I know I can help because I can do A, B and C." Remember, specificity sells over generalizations.
- Closing: Let the interviewer know you are ready to begin. And give your contact information, don’t make her look for your resume in the pile to find your E-mail or phone numbers.
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.