While letter writing may seem like an outdated practice, there’s a version of it that can help you get head in your career. As a technical professional, your days are spent focused on cutting-edge technology so you may not understand the power of seemingly antiquated practices like writing thank you notes, but these personalized notes (in more modern formats like email, text, or even Twitter DMs) can propel your career progress in a few important moments in your career.
1. After the Interview: Ultimately, you want to be hired because you’re the best candidate for the job. But, if you take the time after the interview to send a thank you note, you’re more likely to land a job. Period. Why? It’s not about kissing up to future superiors. Instead, these notes reinforce your interest in the position. Plus, it refreshes the employers’ memory about your interview, which they may not have taken additional time to consider during their decision making process without seeing the thank you note you sent. Make it concise, polite, thank them for their time, and add a personal touch if you had particularly strong rapport during the interview.
2. After Networking: If you’re attending conferences, networking events, or meetups and you get the contact info for a new networking contact, the first thing you should do when you have a moment is to send an “it was nice meeting you!” email. This will save their contact info in your email so it’s readily available for future use and they’ll automatically have your contact info in a conveniently searchable location. This is also a great time to suggest a future meet up, send info relevant to your mutual interests, or just keep the conversation going.
3. As You Leave a Job: Rather than sending thank you notes to everyone you worked with when you leave a job, you should send “it was nice working with you” emails that include your contact information (or a link to your LinkedIn profile) to your soon-to-be former coworkers. It’s natural to lose touch with a lot of former coworkers when you’re switching jobs but, if you keep these professional relationships going, you’ll have a valuable professional network down the line.
4. When Your Question is Answered: If you follow high profile techies on social media, you’ll notice that they’re often sharing their wisdom when it comes to technology like AWS, VueJS, Angular 7, or wherever your interests lie. If you ask them a question and they answer, take the time to send a quick reply or direct message thanking them for sharing their expertise. This could strengthen your connection and help your professional network, or it could just be a polite, thoughtful gesture that reflects well on you. Either way it’s worth the time!
5. When Leading a Team: In a leadership position, thank you notes can be a way to show your appreciation for your team’s hard work or recent extra mile efforts. When employees feel valued by their managers or leadership team, they’re more likely to stick around and put in their all on the job. These notes won’t take a lot of time out of your schedule but they’ll help the team you’re leading thrive which can lead to a lot of great things for your career too!
Can you drastically change the course of your career progress with a few notes? Actually, you can! These 5 versions of personal notes won’t take up a lot of your time and will open a lot of doors throughout your career.