Want to get hired in a hurry? Get an introduction or employee referral. Studies show that job candidates with a referral are four times more likely to be hired than those without. And the best way to get an employee referral is to get in the habit of writing thank-you notes. Not only will your gratitude reap benefits in the short-term, but it will also plant the seed for long-term career gains.
The best part is that writing a thank-you letter doesn’t have to be a long, involved process.
The key ingredient is sincerity: your letter must demonstrate that you truly appreciate what your friend or colleague did for you.
Taking the time to say thanks may lead to further referrals or introductions.
The Benefits of Saying Thank You
Thank-you letters have a big impact. Research shows that sending expressions of gratitude has a much higher positive impact on recipients than most senders expect. So, chances are, your contact will appreciate your note more than you think.
It will make you feel better. The same research showed that expressing thanks improved the sender’s sense of well-being, as well as having a positive effect on the recipient. Other research in the field of positive psychology has shown that gratitude is associated with stronger relationships, as well as greater health and happiness. These effects can help you develop a more robust professional network, along with other positive career effects.
One introduction may lead to another. Understandably, you might be disappointed if an introduction doesn’t lead to any job leads. But focus on the long-term: one introduction may lead to another. You need to thank the person who made the referral, so they are prompted to think of further referrals.
How a Thank-You Letter Can Help
Here’s an example of why writing a thank-you letter for a referral or introduction is so important:
Let’s say Jacob introduces you to Sunita, who is a manager at a tech firm where you are interested in a position.
You have a good conversation with Sunita about careers at her company, but it turns out there are no openings that fit your skill set at this time. Despite your disappointment, you write an email to Jack thanking him for making the introduction. You also write an email to Sunita, thanking her for the conversation, being sure to include your contact information.
Jack appreciates the fact that you recognized him for the introduction, and he thinks about other colleagues out in the workforce. His next introduction is to a manager who has an opening for which you are qualified. He might not have made the connection without the thank-you note.
But it doesn’t have to stop there. Let’s say that a few weeks later, Sunita hears of an opening in another branch of her company that’s a good fit for you, and she thinks of you and contacts you to let you know about the potential job. Your thank-you note to her, with your contact information, could have been the trigger that kept you in her mind.
In this situation, be sure to write a second thank-you to Jack when the introduction he made produces a result. This will ensure he remains a good source of referrals for future opportunities.
Sample Thank-You Letter for an Introduction
If you haven’t written this type of letter before, you can use this letter as a template. Edit this letter with details that fit your personal and professional situation.
Subject: Thank You for the Introduction
Thank you so much for putting me in touch with Lindsay Weston of ABC Marketing, Inc. We spoke on the phone last week, and she gave me some great advice on how to best market myself when applying for entry-level marketing positions.
I continue to look for that perfect job opportunity, so if any other leads come your way, please pass them along.
Thank you so much for your help, and please let me know if I can return the favor!
Tips for Writing Thank-You Letters
- Say thank you right away. The best advice on how to write a thank-you letter is to remember why you’re participating in the exercise. Say thank you in the first or second line of your note, so that the recipient knows why you’re writing.
- Use a template. Stuck staring at a blank screen? Look over these sample thank-you letters to get started. Samples include thanks for a job interview, an internship thank-you letter, thanks for the informational interview, thanks for help, and a variety of additional interview thank-you letter samples.
- Be sincere. Customize your letter so that it’s clear you mean what you say. Generic thanks won’t mean as much as a heartfelt message.
- Proofread your letter before you send. If you’re sending your note via email, be sure to send yourself a test message first to make sure the formatting holds up.