Stand Out: Say Thanks

thanksSaying thanks is the simplest way to stand out after an interview, but more often than not it becomes an afterthought and—in my experience—is rarely practised.

Following up with “thank-you” is more than just good form—it’s your one last chance to make a great impression and your final opportunity to slip in that perfect response you didn’t think of during the interview. That polite token could be the one thing that gets you noticed out of a dozen other perfectly qualified candidates. Saying thanks creatively, however, might just make you the frontrunner. Here are some great approaches that have made an impression on me through the years:

1. A handwritten card.
Your first thought might be to send a quick email, but a handwritten card shows an extra level of care. It’s old school, but classy and effective. If sending via snail mail, be sure to post it within a day of your interviewer, while you are still fresh on your interviewer’s mind. And by all means, proofread!

2. A follow-up video
When you’re vying for a great role, there will always be steep competition, and plenty of it. So it’s better to go a bit over the top with your thank-you than do nothing at all. Making a quick, punchy and possibly pithy, video is a way to get your face in front of the interviewer one last time and let them hear you’re thankful, right from your own mouth.

3. Useful content
Sending over a link to an industry-related article, a blog post you wrote, or a relevant TED Talk not only shows you’re engaged, but also gives your interviewer something to think about.

4. Social media kudos.
Say thank you and offer some positive press by sending good vibes through social media. Right after your interview, tweet about your potential employer, letting your wider network (and the interviewer) know you think the company is tops. Bonus points if you acknowledge a great initiative or service the company has to offer.

5. A relevant gift.
A small gift can say a lot to an interviewer—especially if it is relevant to your meeting. A favourite book that inspired you in your career; a bag of your fair trade beans to remind the interviewer of your shared love of French Roast; or just something sweet to brighten their day can make a great impression. Pick something that says: I was engaged and paying attention. Steer clear of anything too expensive or cumbersome—it should be a thoughtful token, not a bribe or a burden.