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Did you say thank you?

The Importance of Saying Thank You

Gratitude is one of the most important and valuable qualities a person can have.  It is also a very rare trait in our society today.  Yet gratitude is a standout quality.  A small act of gratitude has the potential to set you apart from all of the other job-seekers.

In the book, The Last Lecture, author and Professor Randy Pausch compiles various anecdotes that he wants to share with his children and students.  This is not a theoretical last lecture, but an actual last lecture as Pausch lost his battle with pancreatic cancer less than a year after the book was published.   One particular life lesson story that Pausch included in the book stood out to me.  It was about an interview process that he was taking part in at one of the Universities he worked for.  There was a young woman who the team decided not to admit into the program, however when Randy reviewed her file he came across a thank you note that she had written to someone for helping her with her job search.  Because of this simple act of gratitude, one that was not even directed toward the interview board, Pausch advocated to have the young woman admitted to the program.

Is a thank you note at “deal-sealer?” Certainly not!  A thank you note doesn’t guarantee you the job.  However, it can change your outlook on the job search when you are thankful for every opportunity that you encounter.  What a thank you note can do is help you stand out in front of prospective employers, and help them remember your name when they are making their hiring decisions.  There are several different ways that you can send your thank you – different modes are appropriate for different situations.

The Verbal Thank You

This is always appropriate in every interview situation.  Shake their hand, look them in the eye and thank them for their time.  You don’t have to overdo it.  Don’t hug them.  Don’t thank them repetitively as you back out the door.  Thank them sincerely and then be on your way.

The Email Thank YouEmail Thank You

Dropping an email and getting your name back on their radar is great, especially if you have previously been communicating with them by email.  This is great if the response is time sensitive (i.e. if they are planning to make hiring decisions quickly).  When you send an email, be sure you do so within 24-48 hours after your interview.  Email is quick!  There is nothing keeping you from writing an email, but you!  Your quick response will show them that you will be punctual and good with managing time – both qualities they will want to see in an employee.

The Hand-Written Thank Youphoto (14)

This is probably the most personal option.  Grab some stationary.   Use your best handwriting.  You will want to be punctual with a hand-written thank you, especially if you are sending it by post; it will take a few days to reach the recipient.  Send it within two to three days of your interview.  Taking the time to hand write a thank you note shows that you are serious, and that you really value the opportunity to be a part of their team, or company.

sarah zip line

“Sarah Purpura is a senior studying Dietetics.  She hails from Wauwatosa, WI.  Sarah has enjoyed her years at IU studying dietetics and getting to know people throughout the Bloomington community.  After she graduates, she hopes to complete her dietetic internship somewhere in the Midwest and go on to become a nutrition educator in a school or community setting.”


Categories: Career Advice Networking

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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