You may assume that once your interview is over, your efforts to obtain the position are also over. However, there are still two steps you can take post-interview that will increase your likelihood of being offered the position.
Write a Value Proposition Letter (VPL)
It used to be common practice to send a thank you note after an interview -- it was considered polite to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet. However, this display of gratitude seems to be diminishing. Reports indicate that today, less than 40% of job seekers send a thank you note. Interestingly, our research has found that hiring managers and recruiters do appreciate those that send a note, as we discussed in another blog.
Revision Resume recommends clients send follow-up communication to their interviewer. This is for a variety of reasons including:
You will stand out compared to the competition in a positive way! In addition, you are highlighting yourself at the time when the hiring decision is actually being made -- likely the most important part of the job-seeking process. Don't miss this opportunity!
You will be more memorable to the interviewer. Even if they don't offer you this job, it may help you stay top-of-mind should another position open.
You are expressing common courtesy and professional manners.
You can go beyond just saying thank you.
Let's examine that last point more closely. You can use the thank you note to go beyond just expressing gratitude and use it to communicate your value. (That is why it is called a value proposition letter!) What else can you include? Let's examine some options:
Did you learn of an issue that the company is currently struggling with? Express how you can help solve the issue, should you be hired as an employee.
Did you forget to mention something in the interview? Mention it in your VPL.
Did you realize you could have answered a question better? Take the opportunity to correct your error in the letter.
Do you still have genuine interest in the position? A hiring manager wants to hire someone that they think they can retain, and showing continued interest helps gives them confidence.
Is there a skill you have that you would like to highlight one more time because you think it is important to the hiring manager? Mention it in the VPL.
Did you connect with the interviewer or enjoy an aspect of the interview? Including these details may help trigger the hiring manager's memory as well.
It is important to point out that this should still be a short letter, so you may not be able to include all of the items listed above. Pick a few that are most relevant based on your interview experience.
Some general VPL guidelines are:
Keep the letter to 1 page maximum.
Send it within 24-48 hours after the interview.
You can select if you want to mail the letter or send via email.
Consider sending a VPL to every person you interviewed with.
Although you want to express that you are interested in the position, avoid sounding desperate.
Be sure to thoroughly proofread before sending!
One area where hiring managers tell us that candidates sometimes go wrong is in the follow-up communication. They may receive phone calls demanding a response as to the hiring decision, or the value proposition letter sounds extremely desperate. In some cases they receive numerous emails asking for updates. Here are a few tips:
Reaching out too often is viewed negatively. Send your thank-you note and then practice some patience. Hopefully, during the interview you set an expectation for when you should hear about the hiring decision. If not, wait at least two weeks before you make further contact to inquire.
Keep all correspondence professional. Don't write a casual email with emojis, for example. And... take the time to proofread anything you are going to send before hitting the button!
Use professional means to reach out. You shouldn't call a hiring manager at home or email via a personal email account. Call the work phone number or send an email to the work email account instead.
If you send a message and don't receive a response right away, don't just send a second message. You need to be patient. Wait another two weeks before inquiring again.
Keep in mind that your follow-up communication is also a display of who you are and what you would be like working on a team. If you are unprofessional and impatient, it may be a red flag to the hiring manager that you are not the right candidate for the opening. It can be hard to be patient during the job search process, but it is necessary if you don't want to be viewed negatively.
Revision Resume is happy to help job-seekers create value proposition letters and with other aspects of the overall job application process. To learn more, check out our webpage!