If you are reading this column because you believe there is no better way to spend three precious minutes of your life, I want to thank you. If you're not reading this column because you believe it is far better to spend three precious minutes of your life hitting your big toe with a hammer, I want to thank you, as well.
Obviously, I think thank-you's are the bomb. So does Robin Ryan.
Ryan is the author of "Clinch The Job Writing A Persuasive Interview Thank You Email," a recent post on forbes.com.
Will sending a thank-you email result in your getting a job instead of more qualified candidate who will work for a fraction of your salary and is related to the CEO? For everyone who doesn't believe in unicorns, the answer is probably not.
But if you and your competition are close in competence and salary demands, a well-crafted thank-you note could turn the tide in your favor.
Of course, you will be using email for your thank-you note. Sad to say, the day of the handwritten, rose-scented billet-doux is long past, unless you are applying for a job at The Hallmark Channel.
The trick is to acquire the interviewer's personal email. Use one those shady, online companies that search the dark web for email addresses, as well as info on arrest records, bankruptcies and criminal histories.
This will not only allow you to communicate directly with the interviewer; it will raise personalization to a new level. For example, a candidate for a job at a major hedge fund might write: "It was good to meet with you today, Richard. I'm sure our mutual interest in changing the unfair laws about insider trading will make us a good team, plus, you will be able to provide extremely useful tips about how to survive in federal prison."
You will note I used the interviewer's first name.
This is totally strategic.
"Begin the email using the person's first name," Robin Ryan advises, before providing two excellent examples: "It was great to talk with you to about the job today, Scott." Or "Mary, I appreciated your time and all you told me about the job today."
But what if the people you met are Winston and Tiffany?
By sending all your thank-you emails to "Scott" or "Mary," the recipient will think that you are so much in demand and interviewing at so many companies, you can't keep the names straight. This will put you in a much more competitive position.
"We'd better hire this doofus," the hiring manager will surely say. "We don't want Scott to get them."
A slam-bam first sentence is important but probably not sufficient to nab the job. The author suggests you "reiterate two or three strengths you would bring as 'a valuable contributor to their team.'"
This will be tough.
If you can't come up with anything you will do, list something you won't do. For example, "My refusal to use a computer or a telephone will mean I won't waste valuable IT resources." Or, show how your non-work skills will improve office life, as in "my insistence on celebrating personal freedom with a commitment to 'No Pants Friday' should prove stimulating to prudish co-workers."
The perfect thank-you, Ryan concludes, "must be emailed within twenty-four hours, preferably the same day as the interview."
The perfect email should be send 24 hours BEFORE the interview.
"I'd like to thank you in advice for the opportunity to meet with you tomorrow," you write. "A lot of interviewers wouldn't waste time seeing so obviously unqualified a candidate, so I know you must be a very special person."
Follow up with the "traditional" thank-you, as discussed above, and then, minutes after hitting send, follow up the follow up with a corrected version. "Thank you for reading my thank-you, but I feel my level of thanks was not sufficient. I mean, I really, really, ice-cream sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top really want to thank you. In the totally unlikely possibility that I don't get the job, and I decide not to sue, which I never even thought of doing, meeting with a person like you lights up my life. After all, anyone can manage me. You complete me.
"P.S. If someone left behind an envelope with $500 in cash and two tickets to that soldout Guns N' Roses concert, don't bother to return. It wasn't me."
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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