By Casey Platt, Career Services Advisor, National Louis University
Being appreciative is a pleasant characteristic that can help any professional in any setting to stand out in a positive way. Especially for job seekers, expressing gratitude is an important way to impress an employer as someone who has an optimistic attitude and can contribute to a positive office or school culture. This can play a major role in developing your professional brand. There are numerous ways for job seekers to express gratitude during the job search process.
Gratitude for Employers
The first way you can show employers you are grateful is in your cover letter. Including a sentence in your final paragraph expressing your appreciation for their consideration is quite common, and for good reason. It shows the employer not only that you are enthusiastic about the job opportunity, but also that you are grateful for the chance to work for their organization. A more effective and more personal way to express gratitude to an employer is face-to-face. If you have the opportunity to interview for a position in-person, be sure to supplement your firm handshake and appropriate eye-contact with a sincere statement of gratitude. Make sure the employer knows that you appreciate their time!
Following the interview, it is always recommended that you send a follow-up note to all of the individuals with whom you interviewed. In this message, you can reiterate your interest in the position, briefly restate why you are a quality candidate, and most importantly, express appreciation! A sincere and articulate thank-you note following an interview can help you shine as someone who values professionalism and gratitude. Sending a hand-written note can help you stand out to employers even more, although this is often not possible for applicants.
Gratitude for your References
Another opportunity to express gratitude during your job search is to thank your references or anyone who has written you a letter of recommendation. Not only should you mention your appreciation when they provide you with the support you requested, but it is recommended that you keep them updated throughout the application process. If you do receive a job offer, it is likely they will not be the first people you will think to contact; however, doing so will show them that you are grateful for their support and acknowledge the role they have played in getting you that position.
While expressing appreciation is effective for the job search process, it also opens opportunities to build additional relationships within your network. Communicating gratitude to your colleagues and supervisors on a regular basis can help you build your professional brand and can provide you with additional references down the line. It is also recommended to keep in contact with your references every so often to let them know that you appreciate their ongoing support and hope that you can return the favor for them in some way. Gratitude is an admirable characteristic that plays a major role in a job seeker’s development of a professional brand, and in their pursuit of their desired career.