Post Interview Thank You Notes

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the opportunity to interview potential new team members. Remembering how much I hated interviews in college, this has been an interesting experience. I’ve been working to find the balance between not being too harsh but being able to really tell if the candidate would do well on our team. 

One aspect of interviewing that has a bigger impact than I realized is the post-interview thank you note. We recently interviewed someone we really liked, but his thank you emails were full of typos which immediately raised a red flag. Since these notes or emails could make or break you as a candidate, I thought I’d share my advice:



Be Prompt – a note should be sent within 24-48 hours. Most initial hiring decisions are made within that timeframe. 

Keep It Simple – No one wants to read a novel! Get to the point – thank them for their time and ask any questions. 

Reiterate Your Interest – Even though your interviewer knows you’re interested in the position emphasize how the interview with them increased your desire to working there. 

Personalize It – Sending a generic email is almost as bad as having typos or grammar mistakes. Touch on something you discussed with that specific interviewer. If they’ve interviewed multiple people that day, it’ll also help jog their memory. 

Proofread!!! – No typos or mistakes should make their way into this email. Even if you have to have a friend read it over, take the time to make sure it’s perfect before hitting “send”. 

What is your Thank You advice? Have you ever received a poorly written email from an otherwise excellent candidate? 

Conquering the Interview: Preparation is Key

Job interviews are one of those necessary evils of the real world. In order to get ahead or land your dream job, you most likely have to go through some sort of interview process. And while every interview is different, there are a few steps you can take to put your best foot forward and be fully prepared for the experience.

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Research, research, research
Familiarize yourself with the company, and the department if possible, as much as you can. There are a lot of different resources you can use for this. Google is a good place to start, as is their website. But also check out their LinkedIn page and their blog if they have one. Depending on the industry, social media can be another great place to learn more about he company. Glassdoor and other review sites can give you some insight into the company culture, which is a big help. In the end, you want to have a clear understanding of how the company operates, what their mission and short- and long-term goals are and what your responsibilities would entail.

Review the job description
Speaking of potential responsibilities, make sure you know what the job posting is asking for. If you don’t exactly fit the desired qualifications, you want to be able to explain why you are the best fit regardless. Know what the company is looking for and review the posting to see if it can answer any questions you might have. The last thing you want is to ask a question that’s answered right in the job description!

Reach out to your network
Networks are an often under-utilized tool when it comes to the job search. You may not realize that your best friend’s cousin works at the company for which you’re interviewing, or that your college roommate has interviewed at that company in the past. Consider your contacts, be it through LinkedIn, your college alumni network or some other way, and try to find someone you can reach out to. Having an inside look can be a huge advantage!

Prepare questions
While asking questions in an interview can help you learn more about the position, they also give your interviewer a lot of insight. If your questions show a strong foundation of knowledge about the company, it reinforces that you are truly interested in the position and not just looking for any old job. Take the time to review your research (as discussed above) and compile thoughtful questions or topics you’d like to discuss in the interview.

Scout out the location
Maybe it’s just me, but I always have the worst luck finding a company on the day of my interview. I always hit traffic, have trouble finding the building or some other mishap. If you’re unfamiliar with the location, take the time a few days before to see what the trip is like, ideally at the same time you’ll be interviewing so you have an idea of what the traffic or public transportation schedule will be like. This will take some of the pressure off of you on interview day since you’ll already have a solid idea of where you’re going.

Confidence is a large contributor to your interview success, so take the time to be fully prepared and it’ll make the process go much, much smoother for you!

Good luck!

Office Summer Casual

Today is Memorial Day and for many of us, especially up in New England, this marks the unofficial start to summer. Many offices, mine included, start to allow employees to have a bit more casual dress code, known as “summer business casual”. But what exactly does this mean?

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As with any dress code, what’s appropriate varies with your company’s standards, so be sure to check your employee handbook or office notices to ensure you dress within their expectations.

My company employs a summer business casual dress code. This means that while some aspects of our typical dress code are relaxed, we’re still required to dress at a professional level.

As I’m now entering my second summer in the real world, here are some tips I’ve compiled for successful summer business casual:

Dress Sandals. Flip flops and other causal sandals are a no-no for the office any time of the year, but dressier sandals are a good option. Wedges, espadrilles or strappy flat sandals in fun colors are my favorite.

Sleeveless, not strapless. Forgoing the typical cardigan is acceptable in the warmer months, but your shoulders should still be mostly covered. No spaghetti straps or strapless tops unless you’re wearing something over them.

No beachwear. If you have a cute sundress you’d wear to the beach, you should save it for the weekends and not wear it to the office. Lighter materials and fun prints and colors are definitely ok, but make sure the length, neckline and structure are work appropriate.

If you’re ever unsure of whether something fits your work’s dress code, err on the side of caution and wear something else. And if you’re new to the office, take your cues from coworkers and follow their lead in choosing your summer casual attire.

What is your company’s dress code like? Have you ever had trouble determining what’s appropriate for the summer months?

Review: Glassdoor App

Searching for a new job is never an easy process. It’s nearly impossible to find a job that has everything you need – the right field, seniority level, location, salary, advancement opportunities and so on.

One of the things I’ve always struggled with in job searching is that, unless I know someone working at the company, it’s really hard to get a feel for the true company culture. And as culture can have a significant impact on the potential job, it’s an important thing to know about!

One great way to learn more about what working for a company is like is by using Glassdoor.com, or their mobile app. It’s a great all-in-one job searching tool!

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The app has an easy to use layout, which includes job postings, company profiles and salary ranges.

1. Job Postings – This part of the app is fairly similar to any job board site/app. You can search for jobs by title, keyword, location, etc. You can save your searches so notifications will come up when there are new postings that fit the criteria for that search.

2. Company Search – With this function, you can search for a specific company or, as shown above, for companies in a certain area. On each company’s page, depending on their relative size, you can find reviews by current and former employees, office photos, job postings, and interview overviews. This is a great way to get a firsthand look at what the company is like, as the reviews are pretty honest and straightforward. I’ve learned a lot about companies I thought I would love to work for by reading these reviews!

3. Salary Ranges – Now that I’m in full-time career mode, rather than just internships, I’ve found that many job applications require you to include a desired salary range. This stresses me out, because you don’t want to prevent yourself from getting a good salary but you also don’t want to price yourself out of the competition. Using the salary function of Glassdoor’s app, you can search salaries for specific companies or for a job title in your geographical area. Such a valuable tool!

Overall, I’m impressed with the Glassdoor app. It’s easy to use and can be used even without signing up for a (free) account. It goes above and beyond other job search apps that I’ve used!

What do you think of the Glassdoor app? Do you have other job apps you prefer

Resume Resources

Resumes are a necessary evil for most young adults, especially for those of us who want to build a career in the corporate world. The problem is, there is no perfect resume. In the end, it comes down to your personal taste and what will best highlight your applicable skills and experiences.

I recently wrote a post on 7 ways to rock your resume , but I thought it might be helpful to share where I’ve learned some of my resume knowledge. Check out my top resume resources below:
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1. Purdue OWL: My college English professor first told me abut OWL, which has all kinds of writing resources. This particular section gives overviews of important resume-related topics, with links to more detailed articles in the headers.

2. Monster Career Resources: As I mentioned in a post last month, beyond just it’s job boards, Monster has all kinds of articles aimed at helping with your job search process. There are sample resumes as well as lists of do’s and don’t’s.

3. About.com’s Job Search Hub: Another site that has lists of helpful resume-related articles. Each article has links to dozens more, so you’ll certainly be able to find the advice that you need!

4. College/University Career Center: Even as an alum, I still have access to my college vast array of career resources. Check out your school’s career center to see what they offer!

Best of luck with any resume-writing you do in the near future! Do you have any go-to resources to share?

Monster Career Advice

When I first began looking for a full-time job during my senior year in college, I found myself at a complete loss as to where to start. There were so many things to consider, from cover letters to resumes, interviews to thank you letters, and more. I felt so overwhelmed and while my school’s career center was helpful to some degree, I needed more in-depth direction than they could offer in a 30 minute session.

Monster is an often-recognized job board site, where you can find postings for jobs in almost every field. What fewer people seem to realize is that Monster has more than just job postings on their site. They have a great career resources section, which has all kinds of articles for job seekers.

There are articles here with advice for everything job related, such as resume and cover letter writing, salary negotiations and networking. They’re simple articles that can guide you in the right direction and answer almost every career question you could possibly have. And in addition to everything job seekers need, there are also great tips for career development and improving once you’ve landed the job.
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Some of my favorite articles?
Resume Critique Checklist
5 Ways to Become Irreplaceable at Work
100 Potential Interview Questions

So whether you’re looking for your dream job, or just want to know how to stay on top of your career game, be sure to check out Monster for some great articles to help you along!

Simple Ways to Brighten Up Your Desk

One of the biggest adjustments in going from the life of a full-time student to a life with a full-time job has been how I spend my days. In school, I would constantly be on the go, between my dorm room, my sorority house, the dining hall, classrooms, the library, my internship, etc etc. I never worried too much about decorating (though I’ve always been a big fan of colored pens to spruce up all my notes), because I didn’t spend too much time in one place.

Now, I spend 8+ hours a day in a teeny tiny cube, surrounded by 3.5 fake walls. Like in most offices, my cubicle is plain, bland and sterile-looking. So on top of adjusting to spending almost all of my days in my small cubicle, I’m going stir crazy staring at plain (fake) walls all day long.

To keep myself from going completely crazy, I’ve added some small decorations to my desk to make it more colorful and a reflection of my own personality. As I said, I am not one for decorating, but I was amazed with how much of an impact just a few small pieces could make!

So, of course, I’ve taken to my favorite site – Polyvore – to demonstrate how a few items can go a long way:

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Picture Frames work wonders in a small cubicle. Not only do they brighten things up with a fun shape, color or pattern, but they can also cheer you up! I love seeing pictures of my friends and family when I’m stressed out at work – it instantly calms me down.

Bulletin Boards with a fun fabric are another great option. You can either buy an already-assembled one, or make your own fairly simply. The versatility of these boards allows you to hang pictures or notes in your own creative way.

Magazine Racks are a unique storage method for your work papers and notes. They add a simple pop of color and are a practical way to keep everything organized. I love having these at my desk so I can de-clutter and find my papers easily!

Paperclip Holders come in all shapes, colors and styles. If you go through paperclips like I do, it is infinitely more fun to pull them from a pretty decoration than a cardboard box.

Colorful Post-Its, who couldn’t love these?! I have lots of little notes stuck around my desk and the bright colors instantly make my plain white surroundings a bit more interesting.

Each of these items can be bought inexpensively and some, such as picture frames and bulletin boards, can even be made on your own! Stores such as Marshall’s, Target and Staples carry these items and it’s usually possible to find a decent coupon to make your purchase even more valuable!

How have you brightened up your cubicle? What is your favorite piece of desk decor?