How to Express Thanks after a Job Interview
Hopefully you know it’s a great idea to send a thank-you following an interview. It adds a nice personal touch to the interview process and helps you stand out from other candidates. Beth Berk, CPA, CGMA, who is based in Washington, D.C., offers the following advice for interview thank-yous:
- Collect contact information early. Before the interview, get the names – with correct spellings – and contact information of all the people who will be involved in the interview. Send an email thank you to each of them, if possible.
- When sending emails to multiple people, vary the content. A candidate who sends the same email to everybody risks appearing uninterested in the position. Berk suggests personalizing the individual letters to include something specific about each person or the conversation the candidate had with them.
- Take notes. Immediately after an interview, Berk said, it’s a good idea for a job candidate to sit down and take notes on the important things that happened and who the candidate met. This can help the candidate provide specific, personalized information in thank-you notes.
- Emphasize connections. If the candidate believes a connection was made with someone during the interview, mention that topic in the thank-you letter. “Either reiterate what was said [during the interview] or add additional information that [the candidate] may have forgotten to say about themselves,” Berk said.
- Don’t be too humble. A job-search process is a time to highlight accomplishments – without sounding boastful. A thank-you note can provide an opportunity to mention a promotion or a key metric that demonstrates the quality of a candidate – in addition to reiterating interest in the job.
- Turn possible problems into positives. Sometimes a candidate leaves an interview believing he or she didn’t provide a good answer when asked about a skill set that didn’t exactly match the job description. In those cases, Berk said a carefully worded thank-you note can emphasize how the candidate has a similar skill or can learn quickly. “They may want to address that in the thank you as well without making it seem like a negative,” Berk said.
- Check for misspellings and typographical, grammar and formatting errors. These can reflect poorly on a candidate’s attention to detail. Formatting errors sometimes occur when a candidate types a thank-you letter in one program and then pastes it into the body of an email. Berk suggests that candidates send a test email to themselves to review the formatting before sending it to the employer.
Networking Night is Next Week!
Networking, or building and maintaining professional relationships, is the best way to land a job. It’s also a skill that requires practice. Come learn what networking is all about and practice with area professionals at Networking Night.
When: Tuesday, February 18th 6:30 pm
Where: Presentation Lab, 3rd floor Cooper
Details: Professional attire is required
It’s open to all students in all majors
There will be door prize drawings
Using Twitter to Find a Job
If you’re using Twitter strictly for fun, you’re missing out on a great resource for job searching. Social media is used frequently by employers who are hiring, and Twitter is no exception. Many employers post jobs on Twitter before posting them other places. Here’s a great article outlining some easy ways to use Twitter as a career tool.
How to End an Interview With a Bang
Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with quality questions to ask at the end of an interview. Here are some great suggestions, courtesy of @LifeCheating on Twitter.
Women’s Interview Attire
Ladies, here’s a fun little game about interview attire. See if you can spot what’s wrong with these interview outfits!
Major & Career Exploration Workshop
Are you still in the process of choosing a major? Maybe you’ve chosen a major but you’re not sure what career path you should follow. No matter where you are in the decision-making process, this workshop, led by Jeff Darnauer, is for you! It’s open to all students in all majors.
Come learn about:
- Discerning God’s will for your life
- Discovering your passions and gifts
- The practical aspects of choosing a career
Tuesday, October 29th
Cooper Hall, Incubation I
Pizza and pop will be provided for lunch
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 on Monday, October 28th
Bad High School Habits To Kick In College
These are awesome tips, no matter how long you’ve been in college. Kicking these habits will help you be a better college student now and a better employee in the future.
Erica Wilt spent her summer in Washington, DC working as a Legislative Intern for United States Senator Jerry Moran. Erica, a business major, was excited to share about her internship experience. I hope each of you is encouraged by this and can see how doing an internship would benefit you in your own career endeavors!
Erica with Senator Moran
How did you learn about this internship opportunity?
When (then Representative) Moran visited my high school during my junior year.
How many internship spots were available, and how many people applied?
There were seven summer interns, [but] we weren’t told how many applied. Sometimes they only hire 3-4, but they wanted to give more of us an opportunity because we were greatly qualified. We were told that there were over 500 applicants for a recent job opening in the Senator’s office, so that can give you an idea of the interest and competition for jobs in the Capitol.
What did your daily duties consist of?
Delivering all the staffers their newspaper subscriptions. Reading all of the emails and postal mail from constituents, sorting it, and entering it into the database. Answering phone calls and visiting with or answering questions that constituents might have about policies or the Senator’s stance on an issue. Giving tours of the Capitol Building to visitors. Attending lectures that were put on for summer interns. Sitting in on meetings and having the chance to ask questions during meetings with constituents. I sat in on agriculture meetings, so I got to visit with industry leaders about policies that concern them and job opportunities. Writing letters to constituents that answered questions they had about policies.
Did you meet any well-known politicians?
I was introduced to Senator Thune from South Dakota. I saw Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator Mike Lee at various lectures and heard them speak. I also attended a lecture to hear Judge Napolitano speak.
Did you meet anyone who could remain a connection in your future career endeavors?
The staffers I worked with all offered recommendation letters when I apply for jobs. I was also offered help searching for a job should I move to DC after graduation or need [to get] connected in the state. I also met a chairperson of a company that I’m interested in working for. I have her contact information and support after graduation.
What are your career aspirations?
I would like to work with Kansas farmers, whether that be representing their interests politically or working directly in the agriculture industry.
What was the best part of doing this internship?
Besides getting to spend a large part of my summer in DC, it was great to finally gain some certainty about my future. I found I am very passionate about my state and about its farming community. I want to pursue a career serving that community, and I wouldn’t have known that if it weren’t for this opportunity.
What was the biggest challenge in this internship?
This internship required a lot of professional speaking. Whether it was during a Capitol Tour or on a constituent phone call, I had to be prepared for any kind of question and have an answer that was well worded. I didn’t have much experience with that kind of work, but the challenge it brought was a fun one to overcome. I became confident with my speaking and learned how to answer all kinds of questions.
What impact do you think this experience will have on your future?
A huge impact. I now know what I want to pursue for a career, I have made some friendships that will last for the rest of my life, and I have a better understanding of political processes that impact my life daily.
What were your goals for the internship, and were they accomplished?
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the internship, so I hadn’t set any concrete goals besides fulfilling my job and being a positive person to work around. During my review at the end of the internship, my supervisors commented that I was great at getting along with all the staff and that they appreciated my positivity and upbeat attitude. I was also commended for conscientiousness and interacting very well with the constituents. This fulfilled a goal I had made in the middle of my internship, which was treating Kansans with great respect and reflecting the Senator’s care for them.
Anything else you want us to know?
I was on the office softball team, Jerry Duty, and we went undefeated and made it to the Senate League World Series. I left [DC] before the World Series, but playing on the team was a fun way to get to know the staff.
Senior Year Checklist
1. Buy a suit. Whether you’re giving class presentations or attending career fairs and interviews, you’re likely to need a suit several times during your senior year.
2. Polish up your resume and cover letter. You never know when you’ll meet someone who can get you a job. It’s good to have an updated resume ready. Visit the Career Services office to have your resume reviewed.
3. Create a portfolio. A collection of your most notable work can make you stand out among other job applicants. Portfolios aren’t just for art majors. Displaying research papers, projects, or work from an internship can be helpful for students in any major.
4. Go to career fairs. Although Sterling College does not host a career fair, many colleges and universities in the area have at least one per year. SC will host a Networking Night in the spring semester; make sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with business leaders and alumni!
5. Take a grad school entrance exam. GRE, LSAT, and GMAT scores are valid for five years after your test date, and MCAT scores are valid for three years. Even if you’re waiting a couple years to attend graduate school, you can take the exam now, while you’re still in test-taking mode.
6. Travel. Once you start working full-time, it will be more difficult to plan extended vacations. Take this chance to travel with friends, but don’t blow all your money!
7. Clean up your online presence. Employers often Google potential employees and check their social networking pages. Make sure to delete any photos and information that tarnish your professional image.
8. Gather reference information from professors and previous bosses. Ask people to serve as your references and gather their contact information so you can keep in touch after graduation.
9. Go to your doctor(s) and look into post-grad healthcare options. If you’ll be taken off your parents’ health insurance after graduation, make one last round of doctor visits during senior year for check-ups. Start looking into your own healthcare options, too, if you might be unemployed for awhile after graduation.
10. If you might relocate, start looking for apartments and roommates a few months before you plan to move. Talk to your friends and family or use websites like Craigslist or Apartments.com to find housing and good roommates.
11. Have fun! The “real world” is much different than college life. Enjoy the remaining time you have at SC!
Build a Career Network Right Here on Campus
Networking is one of the best job search strategies, and it doesn’t have to involve formal get-togethers, business cards and forced conversation. You have opportunities to network all over campus! Don’t overlook these networking outlets:
Student organizations offer many opportunities to get involved and possibly meet experts or professionals in a particular field.
Professors do have lives outside of the classroom! Many of them had on-the-job training experience before teaching, and many have contacts working in their field of instruction. Professors also might know which employers tend to hire their department’s graduates. Getting to know your instructors might lead to a job connection.
Student Services Professionals
College employees such as RDs, coaches, counselors, chaplains, and career services professionals are here to help college students—and they
enjoy it! Not only that, they are often in contact with various employers. Let them help you!
Your peers are sure to have contacts, and many employers recruit good workers by talking to students they have already hired. Sure, your roommate might be annoying at times, but he/she might just be the networking contact you need most.