There are only a handful of truisms when it comes to finding a job. The first one is that it’s always easier to find a job if you already have a job. This is a truism because that sense of desperation is not there. It would be nice to get that job because it pays more, or because the hours are better, or you can walk to work, however there is no reason to burst into tears if you don’t get it. Those who are unemployed don’t have the luxury, and may be reduced to begging a prospective employer. (Never do this, by the way)

A second truism is that you won’t get the job if you don’t apply.

A third one is that you need to watch your grammar on your resume. I recall one hopeful that wrote that she enjoyed ethnic cooking. The way she wrote it, however, was

  • I like to eat Chinese and Italians

Try to avoid cannibalism on your job search.

The fourth truism is (unless you happen to be me where I never did get around to it – even after I was hired) is,

  • If you don’t write a thank you letter, you probably won’t get the job.

Suppose you just had an interview for a position that would be an ideal one for you. You know you did well. You answered all the questions, you asked intelligent questions, and they even asked you for your list of references – further proof that you did a good job. The prospective employers who interviewed you told you the next steps in the process.

“Just to give you an idea of where we are as far as hiring is concerned, we have just started the interview process, and we want to have someone on board for the beginning of the month.” Don’t bother to ask how many more applicants they have. Spend the time making sure you have at least the names of the panel members. Start right now to compose that thank you letter, but only if you want the position.

When you get home, start writing.

Dear Mr. Terwiliger: 

  • Be formal. Use a colon and a Mr. If it is a woman, Use Ms and then the last name. Don’t get bogged down by trying to bumble through facts as to her marital status. You want a job – not a date.)

This is a quick note to thank you for interviewing me earlier this week.

You want to use the phrase “This week” because you aren’t going to email it. Instead you’re going to write it, print it, sign it, put it in an envelope, stamp it, and then put it in the mailbox. That way Mr Terewiliger will get it before making the discussion.

Continue the same paragraph:

I found your questions very insightful, and I really enjoyed the conversation.

You will only use the word “Interview” once more in the letter. Henceforth, until you wave goodbye, it will be referred to s a “Conversation.”

I also learned that your team is exactly the one I would like to work with, and I hope you feel the same way about me.

Now you can remind them about you, because they’ll probably have forgotten – another reason to use snail mail:

You recall that I am the candidate who has a great deal of experience, in a variety of situations.

Now is a good time to apply some of the phrases you have on your resume. Just cut and paste them on. Then say,

I have taken the liberty of enclosing another copy of my resume to refresh your memory, as I am very interested in working with you and your team.

Now it’s time to wave goodbye.

Again, thank you for the interview. If you have any further questions, I may be reached at phone number and email address.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Joe Blow

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca. or at 604-464-4195.  If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.




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  2. Sharon Says:

    Great advice as always. Younger people ask why I write thank you notes for job interviews. They say it’s not done that way any more. One time I received a “sorry” letter that also said thank you for the thank you note.

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