Is a Thank You Note Important?

Is sending a Thank You note old school?  Does it make a difference?    The Thank You note never goes out of style and is an important follow-up after an interview.  It needs to be a part of your job search strategy and it needs to be completed in a timely manner.  Let’s examine why it is so important.

Thank you note

Is the Thank You Note Necessary?

The answer is a big YES!  CareerBuilder recently reported that 22% of employers are less likely to hire a candidate if they skip sending a thank-you letter.  Everyone enjoys being thanked, including hiring managers and human resource officers.  Sending a thank you puts you in a positive light with them and that “top of mind” edge can make a big difference.

Digital or Handwritten Note?

While handwritten notes are often kept and sometimes placed on a desk as a nice reminder, time is often of the essence in the hiring process. An advantage of electronic mail is it will be received immediately.

If you are excited about this opportunity, it is important to send both an email and a handwritten thank you note sent via U.S. mail.  As soon as you get to the car after the interview is over, from your phone, send an email thank you note individually to each person that you met with. If you interviewed with two people, and a recruiter coordinated everything, then you will email the two people that interviewed you, and then send an email to the recruiter thanking for the opportunity to interview, as well as providing your feedback about the interview.

You can take a bit more time writing the handwritten note but send it as soon as possible.  Be sure to write legibly and check your spelling.  A handwritten note will make a big impression and help people remember you.

If you really did not like the opportunity, and are sure you do not want to move forward with them, then only an emailed thank you note is necessary.

Again, the email thank you note is sent before you leave the parking lot, and from your car.

What to Include

It should be a personal note, not a stock response or an online template.   A personal note helps your submission stand out.

Be sure to include the following:

  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Use a professional subject line  –  Job Title, Firstname Lastname–Thank You
  • Thank them for their time and the interview.
  • Include a sentence about your qualities of why you would be good for the job.
  • Reflect back on the conversation/interview and mention at least one point that showcases your qualifications.
  • If you told them you would provide something or send links, be sure to include them.  Even if you didn’t promise them you can always send a link to an online portfolio or another item of interest that lends credibility to your application.
  • Point out anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask.
  • Sign with both your first and last name and your contact info. (There could be a dozen people with the same first name applying.)

Things to Remember

Prior to clicking send, remember to do the following:

  • Proofread and spellcheck – Your document should be error free.
  • Remove anything in your signature that might make you look bad. (A quote or photos that do not show you at your best. This includes personal social media profiles that contain unprofessional pictures or behavior.)
  • Don’t be too casual.  No Slang. Be respectful.
  • Send the Thank You.

Send That Thank You Note

Get the Thank You note sent as soon as possible and keep your candidacy “top of mind”  and demonstrate that you have the good manners and proactive communications skills that employers desire.

Need Help In the Job Search Process?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other job seekers and develop a  job search strategy to help you feel confident as you begin your job search.

By |2019-06-15T12:35:30-05:00June 18th, 2019|Job Interview|Comments Off on Is a Thank You Note Important?

Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews

You have applied for your dream job and they have contacted you for an interview.  Surprise…it is a virtual interview.  You’ve never done one of them before and now you are getting nervous.
Virtual Interviews
Virtual interviews are becoming commonplace now to cut down on travel costs.  Usually, they are used for your first round and employers use them to get to know you and determine if they wish to move you to the next round of interviews.  But some companies are using them for second and third round interviews as well.  So it is important you are prepared for this type of interview and know how to use the technology.

Tips

So how do you make a good impression and ace the interview?  Here are a few tips to help”

1. Look at the Camera

By looking at the camera, the person on the receiving end thinks you are looking at them.   If you are watching the computer screen it appears you are looking at the keyboard and not paying attention.  If you want to watch yourself onscreen, move the box closer to the top near your camera lens.  This also cuts down on drastic eye movements.

2. Lighting

Make sure you have sufficient light in the room where you will be interviewing.  The interviewer will want to see you, not shadows.

3. Dress Professional

Dress for an interview from head to toe.  If they ask for something and you need to get up to get it, you will look ridiculous if you are only dressed professionally from the waist up.

4. Grooming is Essential

The interviewer will probably see you up-close on the screen.  Most likely closer than they would during a regular interview, it is important to make sure you have taken some time to groom yourself.  Comb your hair, brush your teeth, floss, remove unwanted facial hair, and use some light make-up if female.

5. Background is Important

Set your computer or phone up in front of a calm area without distracting things in the background.   Everything they see will shape what they think of you.  Don’t skip this step.  I have heard of candidates who did not get jobs because of all the clutter in the room.

6. Colors to Wear

While you want to be professional, you also want to wear colors that complement your complexion and are not too busy on the screen.
  • Refrain from polka dots or busy prints.
  • Stick with solid colors if possible.
  • Avoid white, bright red and all-black outfits. All three of these colors pose technical problems.
  • Jewel colors show up best.
  • Keep jewelry simple.

7. Sounds

We talked about distracting visual backgrounds, quiet the noise.  Sounds can be distracting to you and the interviewer.

8. Speak Clearly

Now is not the time to mumble.  Make sure you practice speaking clearly and loud enough so the interviewer can hear you.

9. Important Documents

Have a copy of your resume next to you, as well as paper and pen to take notes, and some pre-written interview questions (At least two) that you want to ask them.  Treat this the same as an in-person interview.

10. Practice

Do a few trial-runs with someone to see how you look, sound, and how comfortable this interviewing format is.   It helps to use the technology in advance so you feel confident.  It IS unnerving, so to rock out, you need to try to practice to feel comfortable and shine.
Follow these tips and you should have a great virtual interview.

Do You Need More Help?

If you would like more help preparing for a virtual interview, consider working with me, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider, at Career Find.  We can schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other candidates and practice virtual interviewing.

By |2019-05-06T10:07:59-05:00February 12th, 2019|Job Interview|Comments Off on Top 10 Tips to Ace Virtual Interviews

Why Your Handshake Matters – Job Interview Tips

The importance of a handshake is much more than you can imagine.  While a handshake is a nonverbal form of communication, don’t be fooled by thinking “it” doesn’t speak volumes about the person shaking hands.

Having a good handshake can mean the difference between getting the job or not.  Decisions are made about our personality and character based on a handshake all the time, which is why it is so important that YOU master the art of handshaking.

Your Handshake matters

No matter how well prepared you are for the interview, if your handshake is bad, your first impression will take a hit. But the right handshake will do far more for you than designer clothes ever could. So save your money and learn a bit more about the art of handshaking.

Four Types of Handshakes To Avoid

Don’t lose points with someone you are trying to impress before opening your mouth!

The Wimpy Noodle: This one is particularly common among women, but it’s perhaps the worst—a limp, lifeless hand extended and just barely shaken. It’s the type of handshake that can ruin a meeting before it even begins.

The Hand Crusher: This grip can actually make the other person wince in pain.  Some have been taught that the stronger their grip, the more seriously they will be taken—and they clamp down as if their life depended on it.  Be careful of your own strength.

The Alpha: In this case, the hand is extended palm down—seems subtle, but it conveys the intention of having the upper hand in the interaction.

The Double-Handed Clench: The classic two-handed handshake (also known as The Politician’s Handshake)—when you feel your partner’s left hand closing in on your right hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, or neck. The only time this is OK is when the person you’re meeting is already a good friend (and even then I’d reserve it for those times when you want to convey special warmth).

The Steps to a Good Handshake

Follow these steps to learn the key ingredients of a gold-star handshake.

  1. Be Prepared

When meeting people, keep your right hand free. Shift anything you’re holding to your left hand well in advance—you don’t want to have to fumble at the last moment.

  1. Consider Your Body Language

 If you’re seated, always rise before shaking someone’s hand. If you’re standing, keep your hands out of your pockets—visible hands make you look more open and honest.

Face the person and make sure to use plenty of eye contact, and smile warmly.

  1. Get in Position

Angle your thumb straight up to the ceiling when reaching to shake a hand. Open wide the space between your thumb and index finger.

  1. Make Contact

Give a hug with your hand.

  1. Shake It

Shake from the elbow, not the wrist.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice with friends or family before a job interview or networking event.

A Fortune 500 CEO once said that when he had to choose between two candidates with similar qualifications, he gave the position to the candidate with the better handshake.  Make sure you have the best handshake possible.

Learn More!

Check out the great information about handshakes  in the infographic below:

Infographic by Quill

Need some help?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to differentiate yourself from other applicants as you move forward with your job search.

By |2019-05-06T10:11:18-05:00July 26th, 2017|Job Interview|Comments Off on Why Your Handshake Matters – Job Interview Tips

Interview Skills to Land Your Dream Job

Job interviews can be some of the most important meetings you’ll ever have. If the job you’re applying for is your dream job, it can cause some added stress and pressure because you want to make sure you do exceptionally well.

Interview Skills

Being prepared and presenting yourself as confident and capable is the best way to ensure a successful interview.

Tips

Here are a few great tips for acing the meeting that could lead to your dream job.

Be Prepared

Study the company you’re applying to and the position you’re interviewing for. Research them through their website, blog, and social media posts. Be sure to read the “About Us” area of their website. Know a little something about their history, what they do and any new developments or plans that have been announced.

Practice

Prepare your answers in advance to some of the most common interview questions. Repeat your answers over and over again in front of a mirror so that you can also practice your body language and posture. This practice will help you appear more confident, even if you’re a nervous wreck inside.

Choose Your Outfit

Know at least the day before what you plan to wear to your interview. Last minute running around and changing clothes will not only make for a stressful morning, but you’ll feel less confident if you’re not wearing something you like. Plan your outfit in advance right down to your shoes and accessories. Lay it all out and make sure it’s wrinkle-free so on interview day you’re ready to go.

Ask Questions

When you have questions to ask of the interviewer, they know you are prepared and have thought about your potential new position and the company you want to work for.

Don’t Get Cozy

Sometimes, when we start to feel comfortable with someone, we relax and become familiar like we’re making friends. This is great if you’re making a new friend, but not so good for a professional interview. Remain positive and enthusiastic about the position while maintaining professionalism.

Listen

Practice your listening skills and pay attention. Your interviewer is providing you with a lot of information about the potential job and employer. This will help you to ask good questions later in the interview.

Practice Good Body Language

Smile, make eye contact and greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. This great first impression will get your interviewer interested in learning more about you.

By preparing yourself in advance and maintaining a professional appearance throughout your interview, you’ll find yourself at the top of the selection list for the new job!

Need some help?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other job seekers and develop a non-traditional job search strategy to help you feel confident as you begin your job search.

By |2019-05-06T10:11:30-05:00May 18th, 2017|Interview Prep, Job Interview|Comments Off on Interview Skills to Land Your Dream Job

9 Things Employers Look For In New Graduates

Are you a soon-to-be new graduate looking for a job?

Many of today’s graduates are told they should look for jobs specifically in the area of their college major.   This is old advice that is no longer valid.

9 Things Employers Look For In New Grads

Skills and knowledge are transferable.  Graduates have a leg up on other applicants when they can plug their knowledge into different areas, show employers they are flexible and do the job regardless of their major.

In the past, people felt learning a particular skill was important for landing the job.  Now employers are looking more for the whole package.  Yes, you must have basic skills and knowledge in the area, but other things play a big role in the hiring process.

Employers Want

Employers look for candidates with:

  • A willingness to learn and try new things
  • An ability to work with others
  • Great communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Leadership
  • An ability to handle change
  • Responsibility and self-motivation
  • An awareness of strengths
  • An ability to think outside the box
  • A desire to grow with the company

Showcase Your Skills

Showcase what you can do and what you have been involved in on your resume. Don’t feel you are limited to work experience.  If you are a new grad, employers will expect to see college activities and leadership in such activities as part of your resume.

You might be surprised what the employer will find valuable.   I know a person with an engineering background that was hired because of their social media knowledge to help promote the company.  I also know a graduate who was scooped up by a radio station as an on-air broadcaster because he had worked for his college radio station and had a superior work ethic.

Keep an Open Mind

Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one certain job.  Keep an open mind when applying for roles and during the interview. Show the employer how YOU can be an asset to the company.

Need some help?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other new graduates and develop a non-traditional job search strategy to help you feel confident as you begin your job search.

By |2019-05-06T10:12:00-05:00May 2nd, 2017|career search, Job Interview|Comments Off on 9 Things Employers Look For In New Graduates

How to Land a Job Over Video Chat

Whether you are a student in college or a job candidate in the real world, the way you interview for a job is ever-changing. The latest way you need to be prepared to interview is via video. No matter if you use Skype, FaceTime or video conferencing, now is the time to prepare.

Companies from all industries now interview for jobs and internships over live streaming video. University career offices have now started to train students in the skill of conversing on video chat. It’s time all professionals get familiar with this skill as well.

While you would think the younger generation would truly excel at video chat interviews, it is something everyone at every age has to practice. So how do you come across as your most professional self in a video chat interview?

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 7.42.06 PM

Dress as you would in person.

People often make the mistake of taking video interviews more casually, which translates to the interviewer as not taking the interview seriously.

Handle a technology glitch the right way.

It’s easy to get frustrated when technology does not work like it should. Instead of your normal, possibly aggressive reaction to a problem, stay calm, be prepared and make sure you have a very strong wireless connection before getting on the video call.

 Be aware of your surroundings.

It is best to have an interview backdrop of a private office or clean room. If you are at your home, make sure you will not have any family or pet interruptions and be aware of what is hanging on the wall behind you.

Need help preparing for an interview of any kind? We can help! Contact Career Find to land the job you want.

By |2014-09-08T19:50:38-05:00September 8th, 2014|Interview Prep, Job Interview, Social Media and Job Searching, Technology|Comments Off on How to Land a Job Over Video Chat
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