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Tips For Writing Thank You Letters

It is proper business etiquette to send thank you letters, but many people overlook this matter of courtesy. A thank you letter can make you stand out from the other candidates competing for jobs, and in this tight job market, it is wise to consider every tool that will give you an advantage.

To be effective, a thank you note should be sent before the hiring decision has been made, so it is best to mail it as soon as possible after the interview. When you send a thank you letter, you give the interviewer a chance to remember you (imagine having interviewed 10-15 candidates for a position, and then trying to distinguish each one after the interviews and trying to remember the specifics about each person). It is your opportunity to mention any important information you forgot to discuss during the interview.

A thank you letter allows you to explain, restate, or clear up any potential misunderstandings. In addition, you can redirect your marketing campaign by focusing on something that you learned during the interview and re-emphasizing your strengths, accomplishments and skills. Sending a thank you letter shows the interviewer that you are a professional who is concerned about details. In the end, the thank you letter is your last chance to leave a good impression!

There are several situations that require a thank you letter:

  • After an employment interview
  • When someone provides you with job search assistance such as referring you to an employer, providing a network contact, or speaking on your behalf to a prospective employer
  • After an informational interview, company visit, or other career exploration activity

Try to follow these hints when writing thank you letters:

  • Keep your letters short and simple - usually one page is enough.
  • Help the interviewer remember you by referring to specific points discussed in your interview: show that you were listening and mention something that will refresh the interviewer's memory of you
  • Be sure your letters are professional, for example: typed, no errors, on quality paper, etc.
  • Send your letter within one day - do not put it off!
  • Emphasize your qualifications, especially those that are most relevant to the position
  • Provide any information that was overlooked during the interview or that which was specifically requested by the interviewer
  • Express your continued interest and enthusiasm for the position
  • Remember, very few people bother to send thank you letters - this can be your edge!
Generally, your thank you letters should include the following information:

First paragraph:

  • Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you (mention the date). Remind him/her of the position for which you interviewed.
Second paragraph:
  • Restate your interest in the position and the company/school/organization. Mention something you learned from the interview or comment on something of importance that you discussed. Again, emphasize your strengths, experiences, skills, accomplishments and slant them towards the points that the interviewer considered the most important for the position.
Third paragraph:
  • Once again, thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration. If appropriate, close with a suggestion for further action (if a second interview is a possibility), or mention that you will follow up with a phone call in a few days. Provide your phone number and the hours you can best be reached.

 


THANK YOU LETTER - Example
(Modified Block Format)

 

100 Pine Street
Albany, NY 12200
October 8, 1996


Ms. Janet Jones
Director of Research and Development
ACME Computer Company
1234 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12204

Dear Ms. Jones:

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for interviewing me for the position of Senior Programmer in your Research and Development department. I enjoyed meeting with you and I learned a great deal about the ACME Computer Company.

This position sounds very interesting and I am confident that my education and experience have provided me with the qualifications necessary to work effectively with your team. I am especially pleased to know that you use the Quadrini programming language, since I completed two courses in it and I have used it extensively during my internship at General Electric.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to interview for a position with your company. I am excited about the prospect of working with such a dedicated team of professionals. If you request any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Sign your name
Type your name


Read more: Tips For Writing Thank You Letters

Learn How To Succeed At Career Fairs

This article will give you some great tips on successfully navigating thru career fairs.

This issue will quickly cover the following: Purpose of Career Fairs, How To Best Prepare, Tips & Strategies During The Fair, and Career Fair Follow-Up.

A) PURPOSE OF CAREER FAIRS
Career fairs are designed to provide job seekers a way to explore career opportunities within a variety of companies at one location. Job seekers should take advantage of these fairs to be better informed about the job market. Career fairs must be a part of your overall job search process. It’s a great way to learn about job openings, research companies and practice your interviewing and networking skills.

B) HOW TO BEST PREPARE
Its important to make the most of your time at career fairs. There will be many employers and even more job seekers vying for attention so its critical that you prepare in advance of setting foot into the career fair.

Here are 5 tips that can help you be well prepared:

#1 - PRIORITIZE
Find out what companies are going to be attending prior to the day of the career fair and identify and prioritize the top companies that you definitely want to visit.

#2 - RESEARCH
Spend a little time researching these companies; the more you know the better. Use the Internet, library, etc. Employers love talking to candidates who are familiar with their company and business. It also makes you look smart. Candidates who are knowledgeable about a company come across as intelligent and interested.

#3 - YOUR RESUME
Create and/or refine your resume and bring many, many clean, crisp copies to handout. This is very imporant!

#4 - APPROACH
Create a one-minute introduction that summarizes your skills, goals, experience, etc. Practice this until you are comfortable using this as your opening. The career fair will present many mini interviews and you need to be prepared for this. Anticipate interview questions and practice your responses.

#5 - APPEARANCE
Dress professionally – don’t wear shorts and sandals. Use good judgement in what you wear and project professionalism. Bring a nice folder to carry your resumes and a notepad and pen for taking notes.

C) TIPS & STRATEGIES DURING THE FAIR
Follow these tips below and you are on your way to a more productive career fair.
  • Relax and plan on spending time at the fair. Career fairs are not that frequent so plan your time well. Try to avoid standing in long lines. Go early if possible because the first hour is usually the slowest.
  • Always request business cards or at least get an email address so that you can follow-up and pursue leads.
  • When you get to actually talk to a company representative – remember to shake hands firmly and introduce yourself. This is your chance to make the best first impression.
  • Be mentally prepared with a list of question to keep the conversation flowing. Ask about the company, the industry, what job opportunities exist, etc. Always try to relate your skills and experience to the company or jobs that may be open at the company.
  • Visit companies outside your industry. You will be surprised at how many companies hire in all types of professions (ie. hospitals, banks, etc.)
  • Visit your lower priority companies first. This way you can practice and fine tune your approach. When you are ready, then proceed to the top priority employers on your list.
  • Network! Talk to both employers and other job candidates. If you are standing in line, don’t be shy talk to the people in line. More jobs are filled by networking than any other means.
  • Conduct yourself with a professional manner at all times. Employers are watching at all times. So when you are walking around or waiting in line, always maintain professionalism.
  • Be aware of time. Don’t stand and monopolize an employer’s time. Its not good for them or for you. Ask specific questions, get to the point and most importantly get the contact information for later follow-up.
D) CAREER FAIR FOLLOW-UP
Its important to keep yourself fresh in the mind of the employers. To do this, you must send follow-up or thank you letters within two days. Always refer to the date and location of the job fair. Try and highlight any part of the conversation that stood out to make it easy for them to remember you. Always include a copy of your resume. You might also want to follow-up with a phone call.

Also its important to re-group after a career fair and evaluate your experience. Try and understand what you did right and what can be improved upon, as this will help you be more productive at the next fair.

Most importantly, just have a very positive attitude. Always have a smile and thank each person you speak to for his/her time. You have something to sell and employers are there to shop around, and vice versa.

This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:
http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/career-and-job-fairs.html

Sincerely,
Nathan Newberger,
Managing Editor
http://www.WorkTree.com
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"

Read more: Learn How To Succeed At Career Fairs

Email Tips For The Job Seeker

This article will quickly give you eight MUST know tips on using email effectively in your job search.

Most people take the power of email for granted. For most people that is okay, but for job searchers, your email form and content is an expression of yourself. Its IMPORTANT that you cover the email basics.

FACT
The days of job searching using postal mail are vanishing. Some experts even say initial telephone correspondence during the job search process is being replaced by e-mail or "electronic mail". Mainly because its easy, inexpensive, and you can reach a large audience with a few keystrokes.

During the job search process you may be using e-mail more than you imagined. Before you know it you will be e-mailing recruiters, employers, previous co-workers, sending resumes back and forth, etc.

The following eight tips will help make sure that your e-mail looks professional and get the attention of the reader.

8 Tips To Make The Most Of your E-Mail

#1 - OBTAIN A SEPARATE (job search only) E-MAIL ACCOUNT:
Use this e-mail address on your resumes and for corresponding with recruiters, contacts and prospective employers. Do not give this out to your friends and family or your favorite on-line shopping sites. The purpose of this career only account is to help you stay focused on your job search. By setting up an e-mail account for only career purposes you minimize the potential for distraction.

#2 CHECK YOUR E-MAIL REGULARLY:
This means at a minimum three times a day (morning, afternoon and evening). It is highly recommended that you log on more often as recruiters often use this medium to inform you of potential leads and possibilities. Ignore this rule and you may find that your golden opportunity has passed you by.

#3 - ALWAYS RESPOND PROMPTLY:
How would you feel if you left someone a phone message and he/she did not respond promptly? Offended because he/she did not take the time to respond back? Worried that maybe the message never made it to him/her? It’s no different with e-mail. The rules of common courtesy still apply. Whenever possible, reply within the same day. Make sure that you respond to all e-mail with-in 24 hours at the latest. Do this even if only to say that you received the original e-mail and will need more time to do what is requested.

#4 - UTILIZE THE SUBJECT LINE:
The subject line is the first thing that a person sees when he/she checks his/her e-mail. Make it worthwhile. Best practice is to summarize the overall purpose/objective of the e-mail in the subject line. “ACME Brick position” will work. However, “Follow-Up: ACME Brick Fin Mgr Position” is better. Keep in mind that the person that you are e-mailing may receive dozens of e-mails each day. When short on time, he/she will scan the subject lines of his/her e-mails and answer the ones that seem most important first.

#5 - SPELLING AND GRAMMAR RULES STILL APPLY:
Poor spelling and grammar can make you appear at best careless and at worst poorly educated. Neither characterization is appealing when worn by the job seeker. Read over and spell-check each e-mail before you send it. If you don’t have access to spell-check, then utilize the services of a friend or your trusty dictionary. The extra few seconds won’t break your schedule and might make all the difference in your job search.

#6 - KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET:
Think back to all the English papers you wrote in high school. Now make sure that your e-mail correspondence does not look anything like that (except as mentioned in the previous point). E-mail is a casual and direct form of business correspondence. As a general rule, try and keep your e-mail under a page. Do not waste time with fancy words or flowery phrases. Make your point using the smallest amount of words reasonably possible. Remember that your target audience is often short on time. If they open up your e-mail and it looks like an essay, they may become frustrated and not bother to read it at all.

#7 - FORGET BEING CUTE:
Never forget that you are looking for a job. Save the smiley faces, colored fonts, exclamation points, etc. for your friends and family. For the most part, they do not belong in your job-search e-mails. Also, e-mails may be informal business communication, but do not throw all rules of etiquette out the window. Always be courteous in your writing.

#8 - Your Sign-off:
You should close each e-mail with a proper sign-off. It may be as simple as “Thanks-Jeff Smith”. Often times, it is useful to include contact information as well as any certifications in your sign-off. Many e-mail services (i.e., MS Outlook) have an auto signature function that allows you to set up a customized sign-off that can be inserted at the end of your e-mail.

CONCLUSION
E-mail is indeed a powerful tool for the job seeker, but keep in mind that the decision to use it or not may depend on your audience. While most employers have welcomed the technology age and happily accept e-communication, there are some who may not be as comfortable. With the latter, it is often a good idea to stick to the phone or postal mail for your correspondence. How to tell the difference? It’s often easiest to just ask. More often than not, they will be an e-mail aficionado.

This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:
http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/email-tips-for-job-seekers.html

Sincerely,
Nathan Newberger
Managing Editor
http://www.WorkTree.com
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"

Read more: Email Tips For The Job Seeker

Learn How To Use Recruiters In Your Job Search!

This article explains to you the benefits of using recruiters. Recruiters must be a part of your job search and will provide results that you may not achieve on your own.

It will quickly cover the following fundamentals:

A) Why use recruiters? The advantages.
B) How to effectively work with recruiters


FACT
Even for the most able job seeker, the job search can feel like a lonely process. You find yourself in a whirlwind of sending resumes, writing cover letters, juggling interviews all while networking at every opportunity. You do all this in order to the land the job of your dreams. But you don’t have to do it on your own. If you choose, you can have your very own agent (at least of sorts). This person is a recruiter. Using the right recruiter can help you to both better manage and improve the results of your job search.

WHY USE RECRUITERS? THE ADVANTAGES?
#1 - THE POWER OF CONTACT:
As a part of his or her job, the successful recruiter has developed relationships within many different companies. Through these relationships, the recruiter gains an understanding of what the employer is looking for. This is knowledge that he can pass on to you as you prepare for interviews. Recruiters also have access to people that they have placed in other positions. From these people, the recruiter can gain an accurate picture of the work environment. This is valuable information for the job seeker for whom work atmosphere is an important consideration.

#2 - GUIDANCE COUNSELOR:
While the average person may go on 6 job searches in a lifetime, the experienced recruiter has been on hundreds if not more. What this means is that he has tremendous experience in finding the right job. He is an excellent source for your job search questions. In addition, recruiters who specialize in placing newer candidates (those with less than 3 years experience) often give tips on items such as improving resumes and interviewing.

#3 - HIDDEN JOB FACTOR:
Sometimes the best job opportunities are not posted for the general public. The needs of the employer may be too specialized to be described in a 3-line job posting. Or the employer may not have time to waste in sorting through hundreds of resumes that could come flooding in by placing an add in the paper or on the internet. In these cases the employer must rely on other sources to obtain the right person for the job. These sources often include trusted recruiters.

#4 - ABSOLUTELY NO COST:
Most recruiters are paid by the employer once the employee has completed a certain tenure at the job (usually less than 1 year). Considering all the advantages mentioned above coupled with the lack of financial outlay, using a recruiter is something any serious job seeker should consider.


HOW TO EFFECTIVELY WORK WITH RECRUITERS
#1 - COME PREPARED:
The successful job seeker does his homework. Before you meet with a recruiter give serious thought to items such as what you require in a new position and what types of companies interest you. If you are planning to interview while still on the job, think about when you can meet with prospective employers as well as when you can talk to the recruiter. Come ready to discuss all these things. Don’t forget to have your resume updated and your references prepared. You want to be ready to act when the recruiter presents a good opportunity.

#2 - BE UPFRONT:
Clearly communicate your needs and preferences to the recruiter. This includes items such as salary, relocation, benefits, advancement opportunities and anything else that is important to you in your job search. Your being upfront will help the recruiter to match you with opportunities that you would genuinely be interested in. Remember may opportunities come across a recruiter’s desk. They won’t know what is right for you unless you tell them. In addition, be honest about your expectations of the recruiter.

#3 - BE HONEST:
Do not exaggerate your skills or accomplishments. The recruiter is representing you to prospective employers and you want him to represent your true ability and experience. If the recruiter believes that you are not being forthright, he may discontinue the relationship. One of the recruiter’s most valuable assets is his relationship with the employer. Dishonesty might jeopardize your chances of getting the job, the recruiter’s reputation with the employer and your relationship with the recruiter.

#4 - BE PROFESSIONAL:
Don’t save your good behavior for the job interview. Show the recruiter that you are a talented and intelligent professional who is bound for success. Your interaction with the recruiter strongly influences his impression of the type of person you are. This in turn has a direct impact on the job opportunities that he sends your way. Remember, part of the recruiter’s advantage is that he has built relationships with people of influence at various companies. By sending an unqualified candidate to a job interview he risks damaging his credibility with the employer; therefore it is unlikely that he will do so.

To sum it all up, a recruiter can be an excellent tool to add to your job search arsenal. They offer a wealth of expertise and guidance in a process that can seem overwhelming.

This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:
http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/recruiters-in-your-job-search.html

Sincerely,
Nathan Newberger
Managing Editor
http://www.WorkTree.com
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"

Read more: Learn How To Use Recruiters In Your Job Search!

Tips You MUST Know To Survive A Layoff

This article will quickly give you eight MUST know tips on effectively surviving a layoff.

FACT
Losing a job is one of the most stressful life events. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. With this in mind, you will need a good action plan in order to recover as quickly as possible from a job loss. The following eight tips will help make sure that recover from a layoff sooner than you think.

#1 - DON'T PANIC:
You may have lost your job but you have not lost everything. You are a skilled individual and will work again. Do not ever lose sight of these two simple sentences. Do not let yourself fall into a spiral of negative thinking. Think back to all the other people that you know of that have lost jobs in the past and are now successfully employed.

#2 - REFLECT AND RECOVER:
Step back and clear your head. Anger and fear are two of the most common emotions experienced after a job-loss. Neither is conducive to clear thinking or good decision-making. Take some time to talk through your feelings of loss with friends and family members. If this does not help, consider the services of a professional counselor. Sort through your emotional baggage or else risk dragging it with you on your job-search.

#3 - ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES:
Take a serious look at your spending habits. List out your monthly expenses into 2 groups- absolutely necessary and optional. If you have already been laid off you should limit your spending to the first category. If you are still employed but fearing what the future may hold, start cutting back in the second category. A general rule of thumb is to keep the enough cash to cover at least two months worth of expenses in the bank for emergencies. If you have not had a chance to do so as of the time of termination, you still have options. Don’t forget that most companies offer a severance package to laid off employees. In addition you can also contact your local un-employment agency regarding unemployment benefits.

#4 - INSURANCE:
Just because you have lost your job does not mean that you and your family have immediately lost all insurance coverage that you had while you were employed. It just means that now you are responsible for paying for it all by yourself. Under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) generally you can remain on your former employer’s plan for up to 18 months as long as you pay the premiums. Remember that there are time limits for signing up for COBRA. You can get more COBRA information from the human resources department of your former employer.

#5 - UPDATE YOUR RESUME:
Take account of all the skills and responsibilities that you acquired on your last job. Make sure that you include these on your updated resume. And remember this is not the time to be modest; be proud of your accomplishments. If you are unsure on how to lay out or word your resume, then you can find many examples of successful resumes on the Internet or in your local bookstore. Definitely have a friend or family member review your resume. Remember that a good resume can often make the difference between being granted an interview or not. Take the time to make your resume shine.

#6 - ACTIVATE YOUR NETWORK:
Do not be ashamed that you have been laid off. Tell everyone that you think can help that you are looking for work. This does not mean that you should cry on the shoulder of anyone that will listen. What this does mean is that you should be prepared to tell friends, family and even acquaintances that you are looking for work, what types of skills you have and the types of jobs that you would be interested in.

#7 - CONSIDER USING A RECRUITER:
Consider using a recruiter. Recruiters a.k.a. headhunters can help you to better manage and improve the results of your job search. Using a recruiter has many advantages. These advantages include their having already established relationships with many employers and their having access to hidden job opportunities. In addition many recruiters will offer tips on how to improve your resume and interviewing skills. Best of all most recruiters are completely free to the job seeker. They collect their fees directly from the employer.

#8 - GO BACK TO SCHOOL:
Take advantage of the time provided by being laid off to better yourself both professionally and personally. Some people choose to go back to school and pursue an entirely different trade. Others will attend a few classes at the local community college to sharpen their skills in their chosen profession. Still others will pursue 6 or 12 month programs in a trade school. And don’t think that your study must be directly career related. This may be the perfect opportunity to study a foreign language or learn to roller blade. Layoffs provide people who are used to being busy with a lot of free time. Make the most of this time by improving yourself.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, remember that getting laid off is not the end of the world.

Whether you are recently unemployed or are just feeling a bit uncertain about your job security in these tough economic times, the eight survival tips above can help you to get back on your feet quickly in the event of a layoff.

This article can be read online and shared with others directly at:
http://www.worktree.com/newsletter/surviving-a-layoff.html

Sincerely,
Nathan Newberger
Managing Editor
http://www.WorkTree.com
"Helping You Find More Jobs Faster"

Read more: Tips You MUST Know To Survive A Layoff

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