Thursday, July 31, 2008

TXT ME. Just not after an interview...

"Thnx for ur time! GR8 to meet u!"

For savvy texters, deciphering a message like the one above is easy, and sending message with abbreviated words or phrases can be a a huge time saver when texting or emailing friends.
its also tempting to drop the capitalization and correct punctuation out of your messages when you're sending a casual email or making plans for the weekend.

The downside of this relaxed on-line "grammar" is becoming apparent, especially in the workplace, and especially with regard to interns and first-time job seekers. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal examines this phenomenon, and what recruiters have to say isn't pretty. Examples abound of college graduates and job candidates who nailed the interview, but then ruined their chances of being hired by sending a quickly written thank you text from their cell phone, or an email peppered with exclamation points and smiley face emoticons.

What's wrong with that???? :( I'm just showing my ENTHUSIASM for the job!!!!

The issue is a big one, as the article points out that "...such faux pas can be instant candidacy killers because they hint at immaturity and questionable judgment."

While it's true that the era of a hand-written thank you note that is mailed after an interview is being replaced by faster, more efficient electronic communications, recruiters quoted in the article point out that sending a thank you email just moments after walking out of an interview (and from a cell phone, no less) indicates that the candidate didn't take the time to process the meeting or really think about what was discussed in the interview.

So what's a Millennial job candidate to do? The rules of the post-interview thank you note haven't changed dramatically, despite the increased use of email, and basic guidelines still include:
-Send a thank you email within 48 hours (but not 48 minutes) of your interview.
-The thank you letter is your opportunity to impress the potential employer with your thoughtfulness and sincere desire to contribute to the organization.
-This is a good opportunity to mention a new idea that you feel is relevant or to refer to a particular topic that you discussed during the interview.
- If you're wondering if you need to send a thank you note at all, the answer is always yes. You should also be sure to send an email to each person that you spoke with during your interview, not just the person that you met with first, or the person who arranged the interview for you.
-Even if you are no longer interested in the position you discussed, you should still send a thank you note - you never know if you'll cross paths with your interviewers again, and you want to leave them with a good impression.

For more tips about interviewing and interview follow-up, you can download CAPS' Interviewing Handout here, or you can call CAPS at (773) 702 - 7040 to schedule an appointment, or a practice interview.

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