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The Value of the Written Word  

By Sally McIntosh, Advantage Resumes  



Thank You Letters 


As kids we were taught to write thank you notes whenever someone did something nice for us. Today, thank you notes seem to be a thing of the past. In a job search they can separate you from the rest. 


Your résumé distinguished you from your competition. Now you need to narrow the playing field even more by writing a thank you note for the interview. Send a slightly different one to everyone you interviewed with. It does not have to be long.  


Tell the recipient how much you enjoyed meeting him or her. Comment on something you learned at the interview and end it by telling them that you would really like to be on their team. This can, also, be an opportunity to clarify something from the interview or a chance to mention your strengths again. 


Mail it within 24 hours after the interview. If the company has corresponded with you primarily via email then send a quick note via email when you get home from the interview. ALSO, send a longer version via snail mail. 


Letters of Resignation  


Always submit a letter of resignation.  


Deliver it the same day that you verbally inform your boss that you will be leaving. It will document the fact that you are leaving and verify that you did, in fact, notify your employer well ahead of time. Date the letter of resignation and give the exact date of your last day at work there. Say nice things about the company and thank them for the opportunities you received there. This is not the time to vent anger and hostility. You may need them as a reference in the future. Send it directly to your boss but also send a copy to your personnel department. 


Networking Letters 


They say that at least 60% of all U.S. job openings are not advertised. They are filled through personal contacts. If you substitute the word TALKING for NETWORKING you might feel better about the prospect of doing it. Those job are what is called the hidden job market. 


The purpose of a networking letter is not to ask friends and colleagues for a job but to ask for their help in finding a job for you through their connections. Just about everyone is eligible to receive a networking letter from you. Make the letter as brief as possible. Don’t waste the reader’s time. Get right to the point. Don’t leave the reader guessing. 


If the letter is going to someone you do not know well then by all means refresh their memory. If you met them at a conference or a lecture or some association function remind them where you met. 


If you know the recipient well, then get right to the point. Tell them that you are about to be downsized and what position you are looking for.  


Tell the reader some of your strengths such as increasing revenues, expanding production, building new facilities, whatever they are. Come right out and ask them for leads. That is what you are really interested in. Send them your résumé if you think it will help.  


End the letter by thanking them for their assistance. And offer to help them with a future job search.  




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"This is my thank you letter to you. I’ve never written a thank you letter before... I’m very grateful for all your help.  I’m glad that I’ve pushed that “submit” button and initiated that order process.  You not only started me off on the right foot by updating my resume but you’ve coached and encouraged me throughout my job interview process.  I’ve trusted you with all my documentation needs and that trust had given me an extra strength of confidence which had allowed me to show up at the interviews witha big smile on my face.  My smile had gotten even bigger when they’d offered me the position.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The overall experience was fantastic. Thank you!! "

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