I’m a believer in sending thank you emails. It’s so easy to do. I also love getting thank you cards in the mail. It’s nice when people take the time to write a thank you note on stationery – writing with a pen on paper and using actual hand movements that don’t involve typing. (Since I mainly type, I am out of practice and my writing looks a lot like a doctor’s prescription writing!)
Not only have I forgotten to write, I’ve forgotten how to get a job. Yes, I work five days a week freelancing and writing books, and I make an okay living, but I’ve been thinking about getting a 9 to 5 job. I miss being around people and would like to be part of a “team” that doesn’t just include, well, me.
So, recently, I’ve been meeting employers in the industry for coffees and just checking out what is (or isn’t) available. I always send an email afterwards saying, “Thanks for meeting with me.”
But since I haven’t actually applied for a job in a decade, I’m unsure if a thank you email is enough. Because I send the email, but then I don’t hear back. There must be a better way of getting employers to really notice me and not forget me so quickly after meeting them (aside from handing them $100 in an envelope or sending them a bottle of Dom).
I was lucky enough to meet the founder of a new online venture called MeebleMail.com. The founder Sharon Gaffney says, “For years, the standard etiquette for post-interview follow-up was a handwritten thank you note. But with the evolution of email and instantaneous contact, many employers now expect a thank you note via email immediately after the interview to demonstrate a candidate’s interest and appreciation of the interviewer’s time.”
Well, I’ve done this. And probably anyone who is smart has done this. But to step it up and give potential employers a more memorable thank you email, MeebleMail.com offers personalized email designs including name, monogram, address and motif.
I spoke with Gaffney about the importance of a standout thank you email after job interviews and here are her top five pointers:
1. Always follow up: “In this day and age, you can almost guarantee that if you don’t follow up with a thank you [note or email], you’re not going to be considered for the job,” she says. “A tight job market means it’s more competitive than ever to find a job. There are often hundreds of candidates for a single opening. So it’s important to follow up to show your interest.”
2. Is an email not enough anymore: “An email, especially a memorable one like we offer, may be enough,” she says. However, she recommends sending a second handwritten thank you note, which will really make a candidate stand out and show the hiring manager that he or she is serious about the position.
3. Why use a fancy thank you email: “I realized my foremost form of communication was email. I adore paper stationery and wanted the same look and feel for my email and couldn’t find it in the marketplace, so my husband and I decided to develop it ourselves.” Although MeebleMail can be used in other ways and not just for thank you follow-ups, Gaffney says that “using it for a job interview is one way to help you stand out among the competition you are facing in the job hunt.”
4. What kind of email stationery is best for a job follow up: “The choice of design depends both on the industry in which you are interviewing and your own personality,” she says. “For a more conservative industry like law or finance, I would choose a very simple design, like a solid border or a simple border and personalize it with your name and contact information.” For a more creative industry, like fashion or publishing, she suggests you go with a more creative design that suits your personality and maybe captures the essence of the company you are interviewing for.
5. It’s critical to stand out: “The feedback has been phenomenal,” she says. The emails are well-received because they are unique and memorable. “It’s critical that a job candidate is memorable and stands out!”
Now, if only she can do a resume for me. While I’m good at writing thank you emails, and now have access to standout email designs, I still haven’t done a resume in years!