When applying for a new job the devil can certainly be in the detail. Two simple words can make a world of difference and they are “thank you”. We all want to be thanked for the effort we put in to our jobs and that goes for any interviewer, be they HR or hiring managers. Be sure to follow up your cover letter that got you the interview with a post-interview thank you note that will put you firmly back on the map for the employer.
Why send it?
Sincere statements like “Thank you for meeting me today”, “I appreciated meeting you”, “I very much look forward to speaking to you later today” should perk up any hiring manager’s mood after another day of sifting the wheat from the chaff. The idea is to stand out from other candidates and leave a favorable impression with the other person by going the extra mile.
The follow up letter is more than only saying thank you, it also allows you to reiterate the points you made in the meeting and to bring up any new points that you forgot to put across. Examples of this could be “great to see that we both like ice hockey, I should have mentioned that I did play semi-professionally back in the 90’s”.
Make the decision today to follow up your meetings with a thank you note sent straight to the interviewer. The note says a lot about you, that you care about others and not just about this particular job. It will also indicate that you will make a great team player willing to go out of your way for others.
How to send it?
Does the not have to be sent by post? Not at all, a phone call or an email will do just as well. Although traditionalists would argue that nothing beats a hand written letter, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd. In any event, what’s important is that you express your appreciation and leave a lasting good impression.
If you really like the idea of thank you notes, you could even send one to the employers that didn’t ask you to interview. Again, you will get noticed and although you won’t be put back in the running for that position, you will be at the forefront of that employer’s mind for the next one.
Sample follow up cover letter
Thank you so much for taking the time to see me today. It was a pleasure discussing our mutual passion for philately and ornithology. I enjoyed meeting you and going through your job opening and to have the chance to state the reasons I am convinced I would be an ideal fit.
The team seems like a lovely bunch of people, the office is very conveniently located and I can really see myself having a long career with your company. Looking forward to hearing from you soon and hopefully another meeting in the near future. Thank you once again.
Make it a rule to follow up your interviews with another cover letter, including the magic words “thank you” and you will be surprised how people will react positively. Now go on and Make Dale Carnegie himself proud by unleashing the power of good manners on your job search!
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How many times have you been called up by headhunters in the last 12 months? Did you ever ask how the recruiter got hold of your details? This article lists some of the most common ways recruiters find you.
When called up by a recruiter, most people are baffled and have no idea how they were identified. The curious amongst us have to ask in order to avoid sleepless nights. When prompted, the headhunters are likely to say that you were recommended by somebody who “wants to remain anonymous but rest assured, they have only good things to say about you”. This is however rarely the case. Giving referrals of current colleagues without their permission is risky business and most people avoid doing this. Therefore the recruiter has most likely employed craftier techniques to find you.
The 5 main methods recruiters employ to find you:
The obvious one, you send your resume out for a job you have seen posted on the recruiters website or a job board. The bad news is that in my 7 years experience of permanent recruitment, I rarely saw placements made from a direct application. Not sure whether this is because the wrong people apply or the recruiter not fully grasping what he or she is looking for.
Recruiters will have your details on file if you have ever sprayed your CV out for whatever jobs (very easily done as most postings on job boards are from agencies). You will be on their database, thanks to their CRM software they should have a pretty good idea of what you do/did. But your contact details are likely to be out of date so it can take some time for a recruiter to track you down.
3. Social Media
LinkedIn and other networking sites are veritable goldmines for headhunters. Before the advent of such sites, they had to map out companies by slowly extracting information from every person they spoke to. Nowadays, most of your colleagues will be listed and all it takes for an industrious recruiter is to pick up the phone. Remember that by putting your details on LinkedIn, you have told the world what you do and you are fair game for headhunters.
4. Employee lists
This happens less nowadays but still very useful for the resourceful recruiter. Sometimes a disgruntled former employee will offer a list of their colleagues, complete with mobile numbers, email and even home address details to the highest bidding recruitment agency. I have seen instances where entire teams have been ripped out of one company and put into another through the use of employee lists. If you are a manager (and you want to keep your team) you will want to ensure vital information like this is not readily available to download from your intranet.
5. Cover story
This method is used when all else fails. The recruiter will call in to your company, pretending to be a client or a colleague from a different office and asking for the person that does your job. The sharp headhunter will single out a ‘soft target’ such as the IT support guy or the canteen lady and lay on a cock and bull story as to why they need the information ASAP. Sometimes they get lucky but most of the time this will be a very time consuming exercise and may not lead to anything.
Don’t be offended by a recruiter using ‘creative’ ways to find the right people. This practice is after all highly appreciated by their clients (who needs somebody to do their dirty work) as the CVs offered will be very different to that of their direct applicants. Remember that any recruiter can sift through applications from a job advertisement but only a few are good enough to pro-actively sniff out the best people in the market.
I would recommend you stay close to this recruiter as he or she is likely to be just as pro-active working with companies – thus ensuring they have the best vacancies for candidates like yourself.
How did you get found?
Image by San Diego Shooter
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We already know that LinkedIn is a temple for job seekers and if the LinkedIn Corporation had its way they would probably put out every job board out of business tomorrow. So instead of being beaten, the job boards are joining up as well.
LinkedIn Jobs Insider
The brilliant little app I am talking about is the Jobs Insider tool on LinkedIn. It comes as a plugin to the LinkedIn browser toolbar, which you may have installed already. You download it to either your Explorer or Mozilla browser and it combines a number of technologies to bring you the best job search experience. The tool works with 7 major job boards at the moment: Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice, and Vault.
Once you have installed Jobs Insider, your new tool will appear as a pane on your left hand side. Now do some digging around the 7 job boards and search for a few job openings relevant to your experience. LinkedIn will very cleverly indicate which contacts you are connected to at the particular company that is hiring. If you are anything like me, you will have a few connections that you couldn’t say where they are working at the moment. This tool will pick up where your memory gave up and help you.
When you get a few matches, you can go about your sleuthing activites. Contact your connections quietly and try to gather as much background information as possible. I would advise to find out exactly who the hiring manager is and why the job has come about, so that you understand what situation the manager is in. If the best person on the team got up and walked out, the manager will be very motivated to get a good replacement pronto. If it’s a planned expansion with no deadline, you know the manager will take their time and potentially drag their feet.
If you happen to be a recruiter looking for new jobs to work on, it just so happens that this tool will be very useful for you as well. Search away on jobs that you want to work on, find out what connections of yours works for that company, smile and dial.
You will find the link to the Jobs Insider listed under tools at the bottom of your LinkedIn homepage, or click here.
A couple more useful tools for job seekers
MyResume is an application that allows you to post your resume or LinkedIn profile on Facebook. Finally you can convert all those friends on Facebook in to something useful; spreading the word about your skills, experience and what a great hire you would make. The application is available here and also very simple to set up.
If you have a Wordpress blog, you can now syndicate your LinkedIn profile on it and show the world your online resume. This application is called LinkedIn hResume for Wordpress and it grabs the hResume microformat block from your LinkedIn public profile page allowing you to add it to any Wordpress page and apply your own styles to it. The plugin is available here.
What other tools are out there that you can recommend?
Image credit SF Brit