Like the VCR, Handwritten Thank You Cards Are Dead. While I know my partner Chris still believes in the power of the handwritten thank you note, I am here to tell you why I my opinion is that fulfilling instantaneous expectations should be your #1 goal and why I think it will suffice.
I vividly remember the VCR my family used growing up. My parents purchased it used from a movie rental store in Waverly, IA in 1987. It was steel grey metal, had a pop top loading deck and weighed 80 pounds. That thing was built to last like a ’57 Chevy. It even came with us to our big move across the state of Iowa in 1989. 10 years later I was still using it in high school (because of course at that time I was also listening to music on CDs).
Man, how times have changed. I was reminded of that this week when I thought a sales candidate I’m working with made a major faux pas. My client told me he had a great job interview but they never received a thank you. I was surprised. Even for the more inexperienced professional sending a thank you is Job Interviewing 101. Then four hours later the client emailed me back. They received a thank you card in the mail. Naturally, they were thrilled and in some weird way it made a bigger impact, not because it was handwritten but I think because they were resigned to the fact he’d made a big mistake and then Presto! here it comes unexpectedly.
Now everything is going to work out in that situation but that might not always be the case. We’re back on track and they are still very interested in continuing the conversation however the candidate made getting to that point in the process bumpier than it needed to be.
The moral of the story is handwritten thank you cards are dead. In the age of immediacy, when people expect instantaneous (fill in the blank), the job interview process is no exception. It’s a perfect example of where you shouldn’t get cute or try to stand out. Just go with the norm. Thank you emails are well received, effective, establish a dialogue chain, appear professional and most importantly, are timely.
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