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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The 5 P's to landing your dream job

You have spent months researching public relations jobs and making connections with names in the industry. You search job sites three times weekly. You update your Twitter account every hour. Almost every moment of your life is dedicated to the pursuit of the ever-elusive job.

After attending three successful interviews, you can see the home stretch. Your dream job awaits! After all of the computer eye strain and frantic runs to Banana Republic will have been worth it. You sit back and wait for your inevitable hire, prestige and riches.

Until you receive an email informing you that your status car and gold coins have been snatched away by another. As your proverbial sky comes crashing down around you, you remember that you neglected to send a thank you note to CEO John Smith.

Please don’t let this story be yours. Thank you notes are a necessary part of a making a successful first impression. So avoid painful sky-crashing and improve your edge with these five alliterated tips that will make you stand out among other candidates.
  1. Be Punctual
    Send thank you notes the day of your interview. Send several, in fact. It will take three days minimum for a letter to reach your potential employer, so send a quick email in the meantime. Don’t let them forget about you and your oh-so-impressive array of talents.

  2. Be Polite
    Unless your interview was such a smashing success that CEO John Doe has invited you over for dinner, stick to using honorifics. It shows respect and does not presume a guaranteed familiarity.

  3. Be Personal
    No one wants to respond to an email forward, and the same is true for cut-and-paste thank you notes. Don’t make your thank you note sound like a carbon copy. Recall specific connection points. Thank them for the tips on your résumé, portfolio, etc. Show your interviewer you haven’t forgotten him or her.
  4. Be Precise
    View a thank you note as another opportunity to show off you writing skills. Nothing says “Incompetent Newbee” like a glaring AP style error. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Then set your note aside and come back to it.
  5. Be Passionate
    This is key. Merely sending a thank you note is not enough. Reiterate your interest in the job and note how the interview confirmed that interest.
Never written a thank you note before? Start here for some ideas.

Lauren Huisinga
University of Minnesota
Jour 3279
Blog Assignment