Avoid These 3 Thank You Note Mistakes

Gratitude can leave long-lasting impressions on the people you interact with, especially when you’re trying to get a new job. Sending a thank-you note to a potential employer after your interview can only improve your chances of getting hired. “It is a common courtesy to thank busy people for taking the time to give you an opportunity to display your talents. Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the competition is good,” Laura Kerekes, chief knowledge officer at ThinkHR said in another Business News Daily interview. “Sending [thank-you] notes may seem outdated, but everyone appreciates hearing that the time they spent was considered valuable.” Though you may have nothing but good intentions in mind when writing your thank-you, there’s always room for mistakes. Here are three important things to keep in mind when crafting your note

When composing your note, you should keep in mind why you’re writing it, to express gratitude. It’s important to keep in mind you don’t ask for something else, said Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, founder of Syntax Training. “Asking [for something] detracts from your thank-you and suggests that gratitude is not the real reason for your message,” she said. Additionally, a thank-you note should never include a sales pitch disguised as part of the note. “It is not OK to include, ‘By the way, I will be in your neighborhood next week,’ ‘If you know anyone who can use my services … ‘ or any of those tactics,” said Sherry Ransom, owner and president of Sherry Ransom Productions.

“Including a sales pitch dilutes the authenticity of ‘thank you’ and voids the feeling of reciprocity that would normally take place.” Don’t call attention to your mistakes If you messed up during the interview, it’s best not to call these things to attention when trying to land the job. “Do not apologize or mention any negative aspects of what happened in the interview or meeting that you are sending thanks for,” Anne St. Hilaire, content marketing manager at iDevices, said. “If you couldn’t answer a question or called someone by the wrong name, don’t recall it in your thank-you message.” Lavie Margolin, consultant and career coach, LCJS Consulting reinforces this idea, noting to “never apologize for something that you feel is lacking within your skill set or experience.” “People often do this by writing, ‘Although I do not yet have,'” Margolin said.  “The interviewer had the chance to meet you and make the determination if you are lacking something.” Speaking of mistakes, be sure to double-check your note before you send it out to make sure it’s error-free. “Never have typos … in your thank-you note,” said Noelle Williams, director of recruiting at Kavaliro. “It makes you seem like you were scatter-brained when composing the note.”

Are You a Job Seekers

If you plan on looking for a new job this year, you should focus your attention on the industries that are primed for growth, a new study suggests.

Research from CareerBuilder and Emsi revealed that the hottest industries for job seekers next year will be business and financial operations, information technology, health care, sales and skilled trades.

“Our research shows that employers are very invested in expanding headcount in areas such as analytics and data science, product development and sales as they strive to stay competitive in B2B and B2C markets,” Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “Skilled laborers will also see high employment demand in the year ahead as will workers in clinical roles.”

The study’s authors developed their list by looking at jobs that:

  • Pay, on average, around $20 or more per hour.
  • Have grown faster than the overall labor market over the past four years.
  • Have a critical mass of jobs.

Based on those factors, the study’s authors highlighted the five career categories  that will offer job seekers a larger number of opportunities.

Business and financial operations

  1. Increase in jobs since 2012: 585,265
  2. Average hourly earnings: $35.09
  3. Examples of in-demand job titles: Operations manager, business process analyst, product development specialist, financial analyst and office manager.

Information technology

  1. Increase in jobs since 2012: 472,104
  2. Average hourly earnings: $40.82
  3. Examples of in-demand job titles: Data scientist, user interface/front-end developer, product manager, mobile software engineer and information security manager.

Health care

  1. Increase in jobs since 2012: 606,887
  2. Average hourly earnings: $37.77
  3. Examples of in-demand job titles: Family practitioner, medical director, ICU nurse, cardiologist, physical therapist and rehabilitation nurse.

Sample Thank You Letters For Looking A Job

As a candidate for a potential employer, the work you’ve put into landing the interview has been an investment of time. Concurrently, the courting employer has done its equal share of work. By sending a thank you note for their time, you avoid undermining your investment and show the employer genuine gratitude for the opportunity.

Failure to follow up could leave the impression you’re not interested enough to go the extra mile and reach out afterward. According to a survey by online job-matching service The Ladders, 75 percent of interviewers said that receiving a thank-you letter from a candidate affects their decision-making process.

“Beyond showing your enthusiasm for the position, a thank-you note also allows you to reiterate why you are the best person for the job,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of staffing firm Accountemps.

 

For candidates who are wondering whether it’s appropriate to send a handwritten note instead of an email, there’s no easy answer to this question. Although a handwritten letter may offer a quaint, personal touch, the organization will likely receive it too late for it to have an impact. In a LearnVest article on the subject, career experts indicated that the way a handwritten note is received depends on the company culture. This extra effort might be appreciated by a more “traditional” company or a nonprofit organization, but a fast-paced, modern startup may be put off by this outdated method of communication. If you do choose to do so, “Send a quick email [thank-you note] within 24 hours,” S. Chris Edmonds, author, and founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group said in another Business News Daily interview. “Mail your handwritten thank you within 24 hours as well. That way, it’ll arrive a day or two following your email note, adding gravitas to your thoughtfulness.” Ultimately, it should be what you’re most comfortable with based on your impression of the company

Markets Is an Overlooked Profits Lever

Many U.S. companies are battling persistent economic headwinds as they strive to attain profitable growth. Executives are finding that the growth levers that have traditionally served them well — boosting volume, pushing up prices, cutting costs, and investing in growth opportunities — have become less effective.

One overlooked lever, however, offers a path toward sustainable, profitable growth: Improving the mix of the products and services a company sells, the customers to whom it sells, and the geographic markets in which it operates. For any company, profitable growth opportunities are almost always highly concentrated within its products, customers, and geographies. Some segments can generate profits 10 to 100 times higher than other segments. Mapping these variances, then growing the most profitable segments and focusing cost improvements on the least profitable ones, can yield sustainable, profitable growth, even in the face of economic headwinds.

 

Diminishing Returns

Despite diligently planning and executing smart moves, leading companies in mature industries remain at the mercy of the broader macroeconomic and competitive environment.

Boosting volume — or growing revenue — has been far more challenging in the recent environment than in previous decades. In the expansion (1992–2000) that followed the recession of 1990–91, annual U.S. GDP growth averaged close to 4 percent. In the six-year expansion following the brief 2001 recession, average growth clocked in at close to 3 percent. But in the seven-plus years since the end of the 2007–09 Great Recession — the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression — average annual GDP growth has lingered around 2 percent.

Raising prices has likewise been tough to justify in the past seven years. In the U.S., inflation averaged 2.7 percent per year in the 2001–07 expansion. But since the Great Recession, inflation has averaged only 1.5 percent.

The tried-and-true tactic of cutting costs to improve margins is also becoming more difficult. Management teams have been aggressively reducing costs since 2008, and most run lean operations — partly in response to consistent pressure from institutional and activist shareholders. PwC analysis forecasts that operating margins for the S&P 500 will reach 14.5 percent in 2016, well above the 12.1 percent rate that prevailed from 2000 to 2007.

BUILDING TRUST ON THE CUSTOMER

“Everything went quiet.” That’s how one manager described the workplace immediately after his company announced a large-scale restructuring — and it’s an all-too-familiar story to employees whose companies have engaged in a cost reduction initiative. Decisions are being made at the highest level of management, but little is known outside that inner circle. Employees still need to do their jobs: serving their external and internal clients, meeting deadlines, and moving existing projects and plans forward. But that’s easier said than done in the face of uncertainty. Worse still, no one can be sure that a slash-and-burn cost-cutting exercise will accomplish its intended result. Often, these efforts weaken a company instead of positioning it to grow effectively.

Restructuring initiatives can have a debilitating effect on the hearts and minds of employees, affecting those who stay as well as those who are let go. In our work with dozens of organizations implementing sweeping cost-cutting programs, we have observed firsthand the turmoil that employees experience — and how frequently their needs are forgotten during the crucial work of planning for the transformation.

But what if the restructuring were more than a slash and burn? What if it appealed to hope instead of fear? What if it not only promised, but actually delivered, a stronger company and a better place to work? Cost management is effective only when it leads to a less sclerotic, more aspirational enterprise — one without suffocating bureaucracy or micromanagement, in which initiative and entrepreneurship are encouraged and rewarded, internal processes serve the customers and employees instead of “the process” itself, and the company outperforms the competition consistently. If the restructuring doesn’t help the company get stronger — if it doesn’t lead to a better way of working for everyone in it — then it probably wasn’t worth conducting the exercise in the first place, because the effects won’t last.

Top Business Strategy Ideas

The conventional wisdom within the banking industry about its troubles since the recent global financial crisis goes something like this: Rightly or wrongly, regulators imposed new rules that forced banks, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, to adopt new, less risky (and less rewarding) business strategies. The challenges of enforced constraint were exacerbated by macroeconomic developments, lack of customer trust, new digital technologies, and upstart financial technology–oriented competition — in other words, by external factors the banks had little ability to influence.

But the most critical factor constraining banks after the financial crisis was not external at all. It was the banks’ own strategy. When they took steps to become coherent, they began to recover and thrive.

A study conducted by Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting group, analyzed banking performance during and after the financial crisis. We found a strong correlation between strategic coherence, performance, and recovery. (Coherence, in this context, means the degree of alignment among a company’s strategy, its capabilities, and the portfolio of products and services it offers.) Among the 17 large banks that we studied, all based in Europe or North America with operations around the world, the most coherent in 2007 were the most stable performers throughout the seven years that followed. As for the rest, those that moved decisively after the crisis to become more coherent saw the greatest performance improvement. Other banks — those that took either tentative steps or none at all — took longer to recover.

In studies of coherence in business — such as Strategy That Works, by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016) — it’s rare to hear financial-services companies mentioned. So we set out to explore whether coherence could make a difference in banking. The answer appears to be a resounding yes.

We knew that incoherence had been rampant in the sector during the years leading up to the financial crisis. Many banks had moved aggressively into new high-growth lines of business such as investment banking and the trading of complex financial products. Our hypothesis was that in some cases, firms pushed into these growth areas too rapidly and indiscriminately. They got caught up in a classic growth treadmill: chasing multiple market opportunities without the capabilities needed to win. A few large banks had been more coherent than the rest. How strong was the link between coherence and financial performance?