I recently hired a new employee. In this job market, I expected to get flooded with a twenty-foot stack of resumes. I thought my phone would ring off the hook and that my inbox would crash from the cyber weight of every unemployed person in the city shooting me their resume.
As a pleasant surprise, that did not happen. However, the cliches and myths about what not to do in a job market exist for a reason. They are real. I was hiring a marketing person with graphic design, social media and html skills. I got writers, with no graphic design experience. That’s not as strange as the casino pit boss who applied, the school teacher, and the mom with no computer skills, who thought my job sounded fun, and wanted to give it a shot as she had decided to enter the work force.
I took the time to write polite rejection letters to those who didn’t make the cut. I put myself in their shoes and knew I’d want someone closing that loop for me. I never once got a “thank you for responding, keep me in mind if things change” email back. I’m sure they were hurt they did not get the job, but, that doesn’t excuse a basic lack of manners. More importantly, had I gotten a thoughtful response back, reminding me of what they can bring to the table, and thanking me for my time, etc, I would have remembered this person. Down the road, when I am ready to hire for a new position, I would have reached out to the candidates skilled in basic, run-of-the-mill manners 101.
What am I saying here? That a thank you can lead to a job hire? Perhaps it could, yes. To cinch a job offer, it takes the right set of skills, a connection with the key decision maker, the ability to articulate what you can do for the company (and how you’ll do it)—and more. But at the end of the hiring process, a thank you can make all the difference. I know. I speak from experience. I once got a job because I wrote a thank you letter. It was between me and another candidate. The other candidate didn’t follow-up. I did. I was told that by writing that simple note, I won the position.
Of course, it turned out to be a job I hated, but I’ll save that for another time.