“When you thank someone, like a friend who gave you a job lead or a hiring manager after an interview, for example, you help satisfy that person’s need to be appreciated. Not only is it an ego boost for them, it can propel you faster toward employment.”

You may have heard it said that the most beautiful one word in any language is your Name.

And the most beautiful two words? They might be Thank You.

Because, as the American psychologist and philosopher William James once said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

When you thank someone, like a friend who gave you a job lead or a hiring manager after an interview, for example, you help satisfy that person’s need to be appreciated. Not only is it an ego boost for them, it can propel you faster toward employment, too.

And it all begins with two words: Thank you.

Here are four ways to harness the power of “Thank you” to shorten your job search.

1) Thank More People

Of course you know to mail a thank-you note to hiring managers after every job interview. But that’s the bare minimum. You can spread more goodwill — and start more positive conversations about you — by writing and saying, “Thank you,” to every person you met while visiting a potential employer, including the receptionist.

thank you very much

If you can’t get business cards from every one, at least get their name. Then, call the receptionist when you get home (or from your cell phone in the parking lot!) and ask for help in spelling names. You’ll avoid mistakes while generating a terrific post-interview impression by making that phone call.

But don’t limit your thank-you notes to just after interviews. Mail them to anyone who does you a good turn during your job search: friends, relatives, neighbors, past co-workers, et al. If you mail at least one thank-you note per day, you’re on the right track.

In his excellent book, You, Inc., Harry Beckwith writes: “Handwritten thank-you notes feel like gifts because you took the time to find the paper and envelope, write the note, affix the stamp, and gift-wrap your note in its package.”

Why not mail more thank-you “gifts” to those who assist your job search? You’ll surely get even more help in return.

2) Email? No Thanks

A brief word about sending thank-you notes by email — don’t.

A thank-you email has about as much emotional staying power as an emailed Christmas card or birthday greeting — you read it, you delete it, you forget it. All in less than 30 seconds.

Instead of taking time to send your best regards when you mail a short note, you’re copping out and saying, “You’re not important to me,” when you email.

Solution? Write and mail your thank-you letters on real paper using real stamps. Really.

3) Say the Right Thing

So that you have no excuses, here’s exactly what to say in your next thank-you note, written in your best printing or handwriting:

Dear Mr. Smith:

Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me this morning.

I want you to know that I am extremely interested in the position of INSERT JOB TITLE we discussed. Based on the needs for INSERT BRIEF JOB DESCRIPTION you outlined in our talk, I am sure that my skills in INSERT 2-3 SKILLS can help you in this area.

In any event, I want to thank you for your time and consideration. It was a pleasure to meet you and INSERT ALL OTHER NAMES.


Your First and Last Name

4) Thank Fast

Here’s a proven way to make a hit with employers.

Bring a box of thank-you notes with stamps to your next interview. After you finish, go to the car and write your notes in the parking lot. Drop them in the nearest mailbox and voila! Your letters will arrive first thing the next morning and carry maximum impact, because you wrote them with the interview still fresh in your mind.

Now. Does the thought of handwriting and mailing thank-you notes make you a bit uncomfortable? Good! The only way to grow is to get out of your comfort zone.

And here’s the kicker. In my experience counseling job seekers since 1996, I have yet to meet one person who faithfully mailed thank-you notes and also struggled long-term to find a job. That’s how powerful thank-you notes are. Try mailing 10 this week and prove it for yourself!

Kevin Donlin owns Minnesota-based Guaranteed Resumes and writes a bi-weekly column providing job search and resume writing advice. Reach him at the Guaranteed Resume web site: www.gresumes.com

photo by: Jon Ashcroft

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