Thank-You Notes Are Not Passé
Updated: Nov 12
Every day, it seems, I read about how work has changed since the onset of COVD-19 protocols. People say things like, “hey, many of us can accomplish most of our work remotely,” or “hey, we’re all missing the sense of camaraderie you get in an office setting,” and “hey, even when we put on pants to go back to the office, we’re still spending hours on Zoom calls.”
Photo: Ginger Quip via Pixabay
The future of work seems to be upon us, so I wasn’t surprised when Andrew Seaman, Senior Editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News, dedicated a “Get Hired” newsletter to whether people should still write thank-you notes after job interviews. But I was astonished that 13% Andrew’s poll respondents said they never write thank-you notes. So I posed the question in Sree’s Advanced Social Media Facebook Group, “Do you send thank-you notes after a job interviews.” (BTW, if you’re not a member already, join our terrific group.)
The responses from a group that has more than 10K members definitely skewed toward “always write thank-yous.” However, some people brought up interesting issues. Matt Lockshin, a recruiter, career counselor, and leadership coach, wrote, “I think there are some really unhealthy power dynamics and equity issues related to these kinds of expectations, which in most cases really have no bearing on someone's ability to do the job” In other words, there are many qualified candidates who don’t come from a culture where penning appreciative missives is a norm. And as job applicants become more diverse, so may the dos and don’ts of job searches.
On the phone Andrew Seaman agreed that Matt had made a good point and that most often people aren’t hired on the basis of a post-interview email. Nonetheless, he stressed thank-you notes have value even when an interview does not lead to a job. For one, you never know where a recruiter’s or HR professional’s career will take them — the person you spoke with at Company X could be the person reaching out to candidates during your next job search. “A thank-you note isn’t going to override lack of experience, but ultimately writing thank-yous may put you in a better position than someone who just sends applications,” Andrew summed up.
All this left me with two takeaways and a coda:
We should encourage every job applicant we know to write thank-you notes.
The whole work world is going through a massive shift, and while we change, there are some constants that need to stay in place.
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