How a Bad Thank-You Note Can Cost You the Job

24 02 2015

thanks man


For those fresh out of college and new in the job market, getting an interview can be a daunting task.

Picking out the perfect outfit: scary. Acing the interview: even scarier. But if you think first impressions stop there, you are horribly mistaken. What comes next is the thank you note, and I know what you’re thinking: You’ve been sending thank you notes since your sixth birthday party.

But the thank you note you send after even the most successful interview is unlike any other you’ve sent before, and if you do it wrong, it could be what costs you the job. The first mistake you can make is not sending a thank you note at all, but if you make some of these other errors, you may end up wishing it got lost in the mail.

Sending it too late, doing it via email, being overly generic, being inappropriate, and talking only about the job and yourself could put not only your thank you note in the trash, but your resume too. Here are the five biggest mistakes you can make with a thank you.

  1. Emailing Your Thank You Note

Think about the number of emails your potential employer has to weed through on a daily basis. Chances are, there could be hundreds, and half of them are probably skimmed as closely as your college textbooks used to be. A card sent via snail mail shows true sentiment and effort. Everyone loves getting an old-fashioned letter, right?

  1. Sending Too Late After the Interview

Waiting until the interviewer has either a) forgotten about you or b) become interested in hiring someone else is the wrong way to try to get yourself hired. Since I already suggested sending snail mail (a nickname that doesn’t scream timeliness), a good way to make sure your sparkling hire-me-now letter arrives on time is to send it the day of the interview. This will help with remembering everything you connected on during the interview and personalizing it to a tee. k

  1. Having One Generic Thank You Note for Every Occasion

Similar to cover letters and resumes, a thank you note should be carefully crafted to fit the specific job and person. Having one letter where you change the names in it is an easy way to sound dull and leaves a lot of room for making mistakes. If you need inspiration for unique letters, check out some sample thank yous, but remember to customize each one and let your personality shine through!

  1. Talking Only about the Job and Yourself

In the interview, you had your chance to shine, brag and beyond. In a thank you note, you should be doing exactly that — thanking them. Don’t waste a stamp just to talk yourself up some more. Leave the employer feeling so appreciated and complimented they want to read your note again and again.

  1. Seeming Too Comfortable

Of course you want all of your charm to shine right off the paper the second it’s pulled out of the envelope, but you don’t want to risk sounding too informal. Choose your words carefully, because there are some things you should never say in your thank you note. And definitely avoid being sarcastic or over-confident – you haven’t gotten the job yet.

Once you’ve sent the perfect thank you note, the employer will have no choice but to hire you! Now all you’ll have to worry about is what to wear on your first day of work …


****For this great post, we thank Sarah Landrum!!****

Sarah LandrumAbout Sarah: Sarah Landrum is a recent Penn State graduate, writer, and founder of Punched Clocks. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success in their careers, she shares advice on everything from the job search and career development, to health and fitness, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum


Finding the Right Career for Your Personality [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 02 2015

Have you ever wondered why you are attracted to certain jobs? Ever thought about how happy you would be as an architect? Or how bored you would be as a software engineer? Your personality type could have everything to do with your preferences.

Understanding your personality type could be a key factor in finding the career that makes you happy. This infographic, compiled by Truity Psychometrics, a provider of online personality and career assessments, as well as the developer of the TypeFinder® personality type assessment, details the four dimensions of personality type and suggests ideal jobs for each type.

Some key points include:

  • 51% of people are introverts who prefer working independently and in calm, quiet spaces.
  • 73% of people are sensors who like working with concrete things like people, data and machines.
  • 54% of people are judgers who focus on organization and crave a structured, orderly workplace.
  • 60% of people are feelers who want work that reflects their values and  gives them an opportunity to help others.

Check out the full infographic below, to find out more about what types of positions make each personality type happy.

How does your personality affect your current position? What types of positions fit your personality best? Let us know in the comments below!


Avoid These Entry-Level Salary Negotiation Mistakes

3 02 2015

salary negotiation 1

Entry level positions are seldom open for negotiations. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t at least try to land a better deal. The whole process can be nerve-wracking, and that’s because rookie negotiators don’t bargain, and they often end up accepting whatever offer the hiring manager makes. In the US, money is a taboo subject; when it comes to negotiating a job offer, entry-level candidates don’t have the courage to ask for more. They don’t even ask if there’s room for negotiations because they don’t want to offend or seem greedy. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid negotiation mistakes when bargaining for an entry-level position.

Don’t let hiring managers “read” your anxiety

It’s ok to be nervous when attending a job interview. If this is your first interview ever, then you’re allowed to freak out a bit. But don’t let the hiring manager notice you’re about to have a heart attack. Take deep breaths; talk less if your voice is trembling and stay focused on facts. Be brief when it’s time to answer questions, and don’t hesitate to ask for clearance if you have doubts.

Everything’s negotiable

Most entry-level positions have fixed salaries. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t try to negotiate either way. Do it the smart way, though. First of all, be ready to answer a question – why should you get more when you’ve got zero work experience? Use your head to come up with a straightforward answer. Talk about your passion for the job, your determination and enthusiasm to do whatever you can to help the company thrive. Make your words count and the hiring manager might just want to listen more of what you have to say.

Bad timing

Salary negotiations are tricky, especially for entry-level candidates. You can’t just walk into the office of a hiring manager and start making demands. Considering that you don’t have a rich resume, you must find other ways to persuade them and convince them that you deserve more. Nowadays, many companies look for motivated employees; even if they don’t have past experience, their drive and willingness to learn can make them great assets for the company.

Approach negotiations with fortitude and showcase a professional attitude. Don’t allow anyone to intimidate you in any way, and be ready to answer a few questions in the briefest and clearest way possible. Hiring managers appreciate candidates who are concise, articulate and fluent in their speech. This shows that they have great potential and that their rugged talents can be honed and turned into priceless skills.

Lack of preparation

Many job seekers enter interviews totally unprepared. They know nothing about the hiring company and they have no idea how much money an entry-level position pays. How can you negotiate better financial incentives if you’re not familiar with the company’s goals, mission and vision? Access salary-related websites to get a general idea about average salaries paid for the position you’re applying for; ask about bonuses based on performance, tuition reimbursement, and non-financial incentives. Engage in a conversation with the hiring manager and talk about what you can do to help the company thrive.

Know how to handle questions

This is probably one of the biggest mistakes candidates make when entering job interviews. It’s natural for hiring managers to ask about financial expectations, but they want to hear an amount and not receive blunt answers like “Well, I’m not sure” or “Whatever suits you”. This is not a very smart way of dealing with salary negotiations. Even if you’re bargaining for an entry level position, you still need to lay out clear facts. Recent graduates fail to land a job because they don’t exude motivation and commitment. How can you expect a company to hire you if you can’t give straight answers to the simplest questions?

Entry-level salaries can be negotiated, provided that you can market yourself. Since they don’t have prior work experience, candidates must persuade hiring managers that they should invest in their potential. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you and maintain a calm, relaxed attitude throughout the interview. This will show that you’ve got great potential, and that you’re not afraid to speak up and stand by your allegations.

****Campus to Career thanks Christopher Austin and for this great post!!****