6 Ways for Student Job Seekers to Say ‘Thank You’

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say thank you

Every November, like clockwork, we’re always looking for ways to show gratitude in our lives. When your students are starting to apply for jobs, this is no different. 

It’s important to help them understand that showing sincere appreciation for a recruiter or interviewer’s time is an invaluable skill on the job search. 

Here are six tips to give students about how to appropriately and professionally say thank you during their job searches:

1. Thank everyone who helps you along the way.

During your job search, you’ll interact with many different people who help make your interviews happen. From administrators and coordinators to recruiters and hiring managers, it’s important to sincerely say thank you to everyone. You never know what information they might share with each other about their interactions with you. 

Showing gratitude every step of the way will set you up for success.

2. Send a sincere thank-you note.

Writing a thank-you note is always a way to set yourself apart from other candidates. This has become even truer in recent years, as more than half (57%) of job seekers don’t send a note of any kind, according to a 2019 survey from Career Builder.

Your thank-you note should include genuine words of gratitude and refer to something specific you appreciated about your interview experience. If you have neat penmanship, handwriting your note can be a great personal touch.

3. Keep track of what you learn.

Even if you don’t get a particular job, you can still learn a lot from the interview experience. Be grateful for every opportunity and write down what you learned from it all: What did you do well that helped you get as far as you did? What held you back that you can work on for next time? 

The only way to get better at writing resumes and interviewing is to keep at it. Eventually, you’ll find a job that’s the right fit for you, and you’ll be ready to ace the interview because of each small improvement you made throughout the process.

4. Give honest feedback about your experience.

Unsolicited advice is not usually welcomed by anyone, so tread with caution. But sometimes you will get the opportunity to let a recruiter or hiring manager know how they are doing and how your experience with them impacted your job search. 

This might come in the form of a survey for interview candidates or new hires. Or the recruiter may come right out and ask you. These opportunities provide them valuable metrics by which they can measure their own success, so be honest if you’re asked for feedback.

5. Offer them referrals for other openings.

Whether you land a job or not, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with recruiters so you can reach out when other opportunities arise. 

For example, if you start in a new company and they decide to expand your department, you can refer people with whom you’ve worked who might be a good fit to join your new team. Alternatively, if you realize you’re not a great fit for the role you applied for, but you know someone who is, you might share this person’s information with the recruiter.

In either scenario, sending referrals is a great way to pay it forward for the recruiter or hiring manager who helped you during your job search.

6. Share information that improves their placement/hiring outcomes.

Job seekers can provide valuable insights into what does and doesn’t work when it comes to attracting talent. Student job seekers are especially good at identifying successful tactics before they become a trend

If you know something that would legitimately make you more likely to apply for and accept a job, give recruiters the inside scoop — it’s a way to say thank you for their help in your job search. They can use your insights when they go to source or interview candidates for the next open role.

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.