Meg Montford, Business & Career Coach
gracious in life will carry you far, espoused the newest United
States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser. Attending my son's recent college
graduation ceremony, I listened as Mr. Kooser delivered the keynote
address. Speaking to the graduates, he assured them that his words
would be brief and forgave them in advance if they didn't remember
much of his speech. Attracted to the manner of this 35-year-career
insurance man turned poet, I hurriedly reached for a scrap of paper
to scribble a few notes.
Mr. Kooser told
the graduates that when they left with diploma in hand they needed
only one other thing to enter the world - a box of blank thank you
notes. He asked these young achievers to heed his one bit of advice
as they began their new lives. Yes, they needed thank you notes
to acknowledge their graduation gifts, but much more than that,
they would need thank you notes throughout their journey of lifelong
While in a job
search, expressing your thanks is critical. Besides demonstrating
good manners, it can keep your name and face in the forefront. Of
course, the most obvious time to send a formal thank you is following
a job interview - even a not-so-good one. But there are other times
when a thank you is not only good manners but also good strategy:
a referral from a networking contact / colleague / business associate
- send a thank you note to show your appreciation, or sending a
token gift is even better.
a colleague / peer / VIP for assistance or advice - send a thank
you with a brief follow-up as to how the advice helped you.
with a recruiter who refers you to an interview with an employer
- send a thank you note that will help keep your name on his desk.
a rejection letter from an employer - send a thank you letter thanking
him again for the opportunity to interview, and let him know that
you would still like to work for him someday.
the job - send a thank you to each of your references irregardless
of how many times they were contacted by your prospective employers.
the job - send a thank you note to each networking contact with
whom you connected throughout your job search, even if you've already
thanked them once.
the job - send a thank you letter to your new employer reiterating
the terms of your new position.
I'm sure you
can think of more times when saying thank you is a good idea. In
conclusion, I just want to say, "Thank You," for reading this newsletter!
in the AE News, January 2005)