Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Writing a Thank-you is Good for You

When you have attended an interview with a potential employer you should send the interviewers a thank-you, right? This is supposed to make you stand out as a candidate but I imagine that everybody on the planet knows about doing this by now so surely it can't be that effective any more, can it?

But how about this? According to Steven Toepfer of Kent State University showing gratitude is actually good for you—see Want to be Happier? Be More Grateful. As the man says, to be of benefit to you your letter will:
  • “be positively expressive”
  • show “some insight and reflection”
  • be “nontrivial” and,
  • contain a “high level of appreciation or gratitude.”
You can get ready to make your letter “nontrivial” during the interview itself when you are inevitably trying to gain insights about the employer and their needs. Soon after the interview you will begin the process of reflecting on your observations. And when you write your thank-you some of these initial insights and reflections can be included for bonus points with the employer.

Meanwhile, your efforts expended toward writing a worthwhile thank-you will help you build upon your own resources of well-being for further career exploration, as Toepfer points out.