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How To Write the Perfect Thank You Email After Your Job Interview

How To Write the Perfect Thank You Email After Your Job Interview

A few things are helpful for a successful job interview: a firm handshake, a winning smile, confidence, and poise. There is also one facet that is often forgotten but just as important for after the interview is over: A Thank You email. While it is a small thing, it can often mean the difference between making a lasting impression that lands you a job or losing the opportunity forever. To make sure your Thank You email lands you in the winners circle, here’s the do’s and don’ts of writing one.

ABC: Always Be Correct

Do:

  • Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Spell your interviewer’s name correctly

Just like your cover letter and resume, this should reflect a professional, courteous tone and show that you know what you are doing. No matter what the job entails, an employer wants to know that you take everything you do seriously. By crafting an intelligent letter that shows you know how to spell and where to put a period says that you respect them, their company, and the job.

Don’t:

  • Write casually
  • Use slang, colloquialisms, or any obscenities
  • Address the letter “To Whom it May Concern”

Even if you connected instantly with the person who interviewed you and the two of you just shot the breeze like old chums or drinking buddies, your Thank You email should not act like they are your pal. This is still a person who is to be respected. A letter that is too casual says you aren’t taking the job seriously. Even worse, if you behave as if you have no idea who they are their opinion of you will rapidly cool.

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Get Personal

Do:

  • Mention a point of the interview that you enjoyed.
  • Use the interviewer’s name and title.

A person likes to feel that they made an impression. As such, they want to know what you thought after you have had time to ruminate on the interview. While you don’t want to be overly familiar, you do want to make sure they recall who you are and show them you went above and beyond in writing a personal message to them.

Don’t:

  • Be too cold.
  • Give them advice or complaints.
  • Give them a form email.

While you should be telling them that you enjoyed meeting with them and showing that you have reflected on the company and how you might better fit into the job, don’t give any hint that you didn’t like them, the company, or the position. You want no negative comments. You want to help mold their sense of you by presenting yourself as positive, happy, and a good listener. Stay professional, but don’t be distant or icy.

Be Professional

Do:

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  • Keep it brief.
  • Make your tone mature.
  • Express your enthusiasm.

Remember first and foremost that this person is busy. You are writing to thank them for their time, not take up more of it. This should read like professional correspondence that makes your point and then signs off. Be excited but don’t gush or wax rhapsodic about how much you love their company. It sounds insincere.

Don’t:

  • Ramble.
  • Disclose too much about yourself.
  • Lie.

You should be highlighting the best points of the interview but don’t slather the letter in effusive kindness. Your emotional content should be limited to being pleased to have met them, glad for the opportunity, and hope to hear from them in the future. They don’t need your life story, they don’t want to hear a tale you think is prevalent, and they don’t want to be buttered up. Simple, genial, and straightforward is all that is needed.

Put the Ball in Their Court

Do:

  • Include a call to action on their part.
  • Restate your interest in the job.
  • Ensure they have your contact information.

While you are thanking them, part of the point of a Thank You email is to make it clear that action on their part is now required. You should be assertive, though not aggressive, in saying you look forward to speaking with them in the future or asking them to contact you when they have reached a decision. Include your phone number and email address so there is no reason they could possibly have for not reaching you.

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Don’t:

  • Just say “Thank you.”
  • Close the matter.

A Thank You email should not be conclusive. You want them to feel as if it is their move. If you just end your letter with “Thank you for your time” you make the matter sound closed. Therefore they can feel good as they throw your letter away. Leave the end as open as possible with a tone that anticipates a reply from them.

Thank Everyone

Do:

  • Thank anyone who interviewed with you.
  • Thank people even if they rejected you.

If you have multiple interviews with various people within a company, send a “Thank You” email to all of them. A mistake that many applicants make is to only thank the top boss or the highest ranking person in the office who spoke with them. This shows you aren’t a team player. Also, showing courtesy to someone – even if they turned you down at the end of the interview – shows them you can take a hit without losing class. It will keep you in their mind for future positions or other people they know who might need your skills.

Don’t

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  • Leave anyone out.

When it comes to giving thanks, no one should be forgotten. If you have the chance to thank the secretary who took you into the meeting, do it. People in a company who seem small often wield immense power and influence. If you can make them remember you, like you, and consider you an enjoyable person, your resume is much less likely to be forgotten.

Even if things didn’t go well, you can always recover from a bad job interview with a great Thank You email.

Featured photo credit: Infrogmation of New Orleans via upload.wikimedia.org

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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