How a Thank you email landed me my best job
- 80% salary increase over previous job
- Benefits + health insurance included
- 2 employer paid pension/retirement plans
- 3 weeks paid vacation the first year
- 3 day weekend every other week.
SIGN ME UP!!
I needed a job! I was actively looking for work and I was applying for pretty much any position that I was qualified for and was in my field (IT).
I don’t remember which site it was exactly but I found an IT Technician listing working for the city where I grew up. I read over the listing and it sounded very similar to my previous job.
I met all the requirements and they even listed the salary and benefits. Another reason to make me want to apply.
I had to create an account to apply via Govermentjobs.gov
The online application was probably the longest I have ever done. It must of taken me a good hour to complete everything.
It asked for very detailed information about my previous jobs, residence, schooling, reference, etc.
Ugh! I ALMOST gave up before completing it but then I figured I had already spent close to an hour filling this thing out and I didn’t have much left. The least I could do was see it through.
I submitted my application and got an email confirmation, and that was that.
I kept applying for other various positions and companies.
I didn’t hear anything from them and 3 weeks later, I landed a job with a company for IT support.
7 months later
One day while I was out having breakfast with my girlfriend, I received a call from a person in the IT department for the city I applied.
I had almost forgotten all about it.
The guy on the phone asked me if I was still interested in the position and if I was, he’d like to schedule me for an interview.
He set a date for 2 weeks out and I agreed to meet him on a Friday morning.
In all honesty, I said yes to the interview with no intentions of going. I was just getting comfortable in the position/company where I was currently and I figured I could just cancel the interview with him a couple of days before the date.
I spoke to my girlfriend about it and she convinced me to go. I figured she was right and I didn’t have much to lose.
I received an email from the guy at the city confirming the interview time and location.
I went to the interview and it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
I was interviewed by two gentlemen. They both friendly and were very brief about the job requirements and description. They were a lot more focused and detailed on the background check that I would have to pass.
We spent more time talking about the background check process than we did about what my actual responsibilities would be.
Basically they told me that the most important aspect of this job would be getting clearance for all of City Hall, fire stations, the city’s international airport and most importantly, the police department building.
In order to get clearance, I would need to pass the same background check that their police officers go through.
They mentioned this was the hardest part of the on-boarding process. They even told me they had interviewed some very promising candidates before who dropped off from the position due to either not passing or willing to do the background check.
THIS WAS NOT GOING TO BE EASY
I had nothing to hide and expected not to have an issue with the background check so I told them, I was on board.
They told me they would be in touch and sent me on my way.
To my surprise, I received an email from one of the interviewers a couple of days later and he invited me for a second interview.
I accepted and we set up a date.
This interview was more in line with what I had experienced before.
This time I met with the department manager and we went over what the job required of me and what a typical day/week looked like for the other workers. They asked me about myself, experience and certain scenarios when I’ve had similar duties in the past.
I thought the interview had gone pretty well until I heard those four dreaded words.
WE’LL LET YOU KNOW
I went on my way and began to lose hope.
My lost hope was confirmed the next day when I received an email stating that another candidate had been selected for the job 🙁
I’m not gonna lie, I was disappointed.
All that time and energy wasted.
I figured I would just move on.
THE THANK YOU EMAIL
I had never been formally rejected after an interview before so I wasn’t sure how to proceed. The most I had ever gotten from a job interview was a “We’ll let you know” only to never hear from them again.
I know people send “Thank you” emails when they’ve been hired but what about when they’ve been rejected?
I wanted to just leave as is and not respond to the rejection email but I figured the least I could do was thank the interviewer for their time for meeting with me.
I wasn’t in a hurry so I decided that I would look up if its common etiquette to send “Thank you” emails after you’ve been rejected.
Everything I read suggested that yes, you should send a “Thank you” email, regardless of their decision to hire you.
It leaves a good last impression and stays in their good graces should something ever come up, even if it was a lower position.
A couple of days passed and I decided to email him back a sincere thank you. Nothing fancy or extensive, just a thank you for giving me an opportunity and even considering me for the job.
YOU WANT A JOB?
I wasn’t expecting a reply from the interviewer but to my surprised I received a response that same day, minutes after I had sent him the thank you email.
What shocked me even more was what the email said!
Basically they had a second position to fill for the fiscal year (the one I applied for and got rejected was for the previous year) and wanted to know if I was still interested so I could start the background/hiring process.
I was ecstatic! I immediately replied back to him with a Yes!
After this, I started doing the loooong background check and hiring process.
6 months later, I started working for the city as an IT technician.
How to write a thank you email
This is literally what my thank you email looked like:
No opposition, questioning or judgement. Just a sincere “thank you”.
It should have the following:
- A friendly tone and gratitude—Its not a “Thank you” email without gratitude.
- Make it at least a whole sentence—Don’t just type “Ok” and send it.
- Correct spelling and grammar—Nothing worst that ruining your second change due to a typo.
- Signature just to confirm who the email is coming from— Not everybody’s email address contain their name.
- Contact information in case they would prefer to contact you immediately through a different method
One day during a casual conversation, I asked my supervisor (interviewer) if the “Thank you” email was what got me the second opportunity.
He responded with a “pretty much” since he said that when they heard about the second position, they where going to reach out to the handful of interviewed candidates and there was no particular order since we were all qualified for the job.
He said my email made it easier and it was perfect timing since he saw it right around the time he was going to look for our contacts. The email just made it easier to reply instead of going through the contacts and emailing one of us.
Its funny how things work out. At first, I wasn’t interested in the job, I was just beginning to get comfortable where I was. Its human nature to stay safe and stick with what you know. Once I was convinced to purse the position, put in all the work, the interviews etc, I started getting excited about it. When I got the rejection email, it hurt. I contemplated just leaving it as it. I didn’t even send them the “thank you” email until 4 days had passed. Had I not emailed them, I’m positive they wouldn’t of gone out of their way to reach out and offer me the job.
I know preach the power of the “Thank you” email.
Keep up the good work.