To thank or not to thank...

Subject: To thank or not to thank...
From: "Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 11:57:55 -0400

I am thoroughly enjoying this thread, and even though it may not "directly
relate to Technical Writing", I think it does directly relate to job
searches. Having been on both sides of the table more than once, I decided
to comment.

<end reasoning, begin sinpping and clipping, and rebutting to comments>

Patricia Allard <always wrote thank-you notes...until ... hired by a boss
that said
"Never write a thank-you note for an interview. You are thanking the
interviewer for doing their job and it is condescending and ingratiating.">

>>Of course they're doing their job, but thank-you letters/phone calls,
emails, notes, etc., are a sign of courtesy, and respect for the
interviewer's time spent. Not condescending. Pat, the opinion of the many
outweigh the opinion of the few, and I would suggest that a courteous and
brief thank-you would be appreciated by more people than those who consider
it insulting. How many jobs have ou unknowingly given up by not sending a
quick thanks?

Tracey Moore <believes that courtesy goes both ways.>

>> Absolutely, but in my experience, the interviewer is too "busy" deciding
who to hire, and hasn't got the time. We can, however, cure this in a way I
found helpful when I was hiring:

>>Immediately following the interview with the candidate, I reviewed the
notes I made on said person. Since I use a PC to keep track of info, I had
already created a generic keyboard-merge thank you letter, to which I added
info based on the interview. If I had the candidates email address, I could
email it, if not, I'd print it out and sign it, and mail it using one of the
nifty labels with the candidate's address on it.

Sabahat Ashraf guesses <they did me a favour by not hiring me; I wouldn't
have fit in and felt really bad about working with people so much older'n me

>> I sense the sarcasm, and I understand it, but from my only true "job from
Hell" experience, I wish to gosh they'd thought more about the corporate
fit, as well as the age difference between other staff and myself...
(Sabahat - it's a long story, and I'd be happy to discuss it off-list if
you're interested) but if you expect a thank you, and don't get one, this
might be a clue about "corporate fit" in itself.

Sean Brierley sees <the thank you as a professional courtesy and a sign of
interest in the job>

>> You bet. And a thanks from the interviewer shows the same professional

Jarnopol interviewed thankless people <through head hunters, others came
through contract-to-hire agencies and some even came from the ranks of this

>> From personal experience, (not to give the ingrates a way out,)
headhunters and contract-to-hire agiencies rarely 'allow' the candidate to
handle any correspondence with the interviewer. However, I will ask the
headhiunter to please pass on my thank-you to the person who interviewed me
if I'm not "allowed" to do it myself.

John Posada says "...By the time the thankyou note would have arrived, it
would be
arriving at a destination where I either have it or don't have it. If the
former, it's superflous. If the later...well, TNT."

>> If they're deciding that fast, obviously, a "thank-you for interviewing
me" letter may be inappropriate, but I have gotten jobs after the person
hired didn't work out because I sent letters saying "Thanks for interviewing
me, wish your company the best of luck, enjoyed leraning more about XYZ, and
am still interested if any positions come free in future".

>> I guess all this babbling means I have strong opinions about thanking
people - my favorite author says <paraphrasing> a lack of courtesy is the
sign of a sick society, soon to die.

>>As writers we are courteous to our audience by finding out the best way to
address them, so why, as interviewe(rs/ees) are we not as courteous?

Lisa Comeau
Accounts Representative, Client Services Group
Y2K/Exchange Project, Ontario Ministry of Health
Office: (416) 327 1112
Pager: (416) 715 9198
mailto: Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- moh -dot- gov -dot- on -dot- ca

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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