College seniors will not be thrilled with the news that came out recently saying that less than 50% of employers are planning to hire college graduates. For international students getting a work visa might be easier these days; however, there are fewer jobs available. According to USCIS there are 23,000 H1-B visas unfilled this year due to job shortages.
So, what does this mean? It means that one must work harder and smarter than in the past.
One of the ways to increase your chances to get hired for jobs that are available is to understand follow up etiquette. One of the more effective ways to follow up after a job interview is with a professional thank you letter.
Remember, the last impression you make can be just as important as the first. The thank-you letter is your opportunity to remind the employer of your visit and reinforce your qualifications and desire for the job.
Keep in mind, your thank-you letter is more than a simple courtesy; it is an essential component of the self-marketing campaign and a final chance to market yourself. Follow-up is very important for two reasons. First, employers appreciate candidates who follow up effectively. Therefore, it is to your advantage to be proactive and "strike while the iron is hot". Secondly, job-hunting in the US is competitive, especially in a bad economy; if you don't follow up, your competitors will, and it will give them an advantage over you.
During my seminars, people often ask me "When should I send a thank you letter?" My advice is to always send a thank-you letter within 24 hours after every employment interview. Here are a few more tips:
- Remember to write to each person you spoke to during the interview. Try not to send an identical letter to each person on your list; rather personalize your letters by making each one a little different from the others.
In your letter:
1) thank the interviewer for his or her time,
2) express your continued interest in the position and your suitability for the job,
3) mention anything important that you either left out during the interview or wished you handled better in your answers.
- You can handwrite the letter on a thank-you card (if your handwriting is legible); or you can send a typed letter. If you know your interviewer's e-mail address, you can certainly both send a thank you letter via e-mail...and mail a letter or a thank you note as well. This way you will be more confident that your message did not get lost in the junk mail of the recruiter's inbox. However, keep in mind that a neatly typed or handwritten letter has a more formal quality and therefore can be a plus in your favor.
In my book "How to Get a Job in the USA" I cover in detail three follow up media, letters, e-mails, and phone calls. Following Up is the fifth step in my Succeed in America Six Step System of getting employed in the US.
Nara Venditti, Ph.D., is a platform speaker, educator and author. She is the president of Succeed in America, LLC and author of "How to Get A Job in the USA " and "Ameri$peak.". She is an expert in foreign born employee development and a frequent presenter at Conferences, Companies and educational institutions. She speaks on careers, communication and diversity. She can be reached at +1 203 791 1107 or http://www.SucceedinAmerica.com
Succeed in America Books http://www.succeedinamerica.com/books.html
HOW TO GET A JOB IN THE USA: a step-by-step guide on how to get employed in the USA
AMERI$PEAK: The Most Important Words You Need to Know to Communicate Effectively in the American Business