By: Anissa Gabbara
It’s post-graduation, and many of us already have several job interviews lined up. One of the most important things you can do besides NAIL the interview is to let the interviewer know that you appreciate his or her time and consideration by sending a thank-you card. Not only is sending a thank-you card a thoughtful gesture, but it makes you stand out from other candidates. Believe it or not, your competition may not be writing thank-you cards. Plus, it gives you another opportunity to express why you’d be the perfect fit for the position.
Here are three tips on writing a great thank-you card:
- Keep it short and sweet.
One or two paragraphs is all you need to make a great impression on the employer. Always thank the employer in the first line, and let him or her know you enjoyed the interview and still have interest in joining the team. Additionally, you should reiterate what makes you the perfect person for the job by emphasizing your strongest skills. Wrap up the card by thanking the employer once again, and leave the door open by letting the person know how you look forward to hearing from him or her.
- Personalize each card for each interviewer.
Panel interviews are quite common, and if you happen to have one, be sure to write a personalized card for each person who interviewed you. Once everyone on the panel receives your cards, it’s likely they will compare what you’ve written for each person and trust me, you don’t want each card to be identical. To personalize a thank-you card, point out something each person said during the interview that sparked your interest, or just a particular moment in the conversation you enjoyed. This shows you were genuinely engaged in the conversation and employers remember that.
- Send it out promptly.
Mail out your thank-you cards within 24 hours of the interview to ensure the employer receives it before making a final selection. With lots of competition out there, you can be easily forgotten, so it’s crucial that you send out your thank-you card ASAP to keep yourself at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.
Anissa Gabbara is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a double minor in communications and marketing. She currently serves as the vice president of public relations on EMU PRSSA’s E-board. She has an interest in celebrity PR and hopes to one day work with some of the biggest names and corporations in the entertainment world. She plans to hone her craft while becoming a valuable source of information to others. You can follow her on Twitter @AnissaGabbara.
By: Katie Gerweck
Interviewing can be a stressful experience, but preparing for an interview can help you get there on time and feel more confident about the process. Here are three simple tips to save you time and cut back on stress.
1. Figure out where you are going
Navigating to the company you are interviewing at can be stressful if you aren’t familiar with the area. Before the day of your interview, enter the address online or into a GPS. This will help you determine what time you need to leave, and familiarizes you with your route. If you are thinking about it, it can also be useful to ask about parking options when you set up your interview, so you know what to expect and can allow yourself time if you have to park a block away.
2. Take out your clothes the night before
Not only will your outfit already be assembled in the morning, saving you time, but it will also prevent last-minute panic when you realize you don’t have any clean dress pants.
3. Prep yourself for the interview questions
There’s no way of knowing what you will be asked, but typing “common interview questions” into a search engine can send you in the right direction. Go through the questions yourself or have a friend play the role of the interviewer to practice what you will say. Remember to research the company beforehand so you can be specific in your answers.
Interviewing can be stressful, but preparing ahead of time can help you feel more confident. Although you can’t anticipate every question or traffic jam, these tips can help you prevent a last-minute problem.
Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She was the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.
There was much to learn at the Eastern Michigan University 2014 Student Development Conference held by the Public Relations Student Society of American on December 5th. There were three guest speakers who discussed different aspects of public relations and after lunch there was a panel of three professionals who answered questions about interviews and provided students with feedback about their resumes. The three professionals that joined us and shared their advice were; Kevin Devine, who is the director of Student Media at EMU and advisor of the student newspaper The Eastern Eco; Kelli Cesarz, digital public relations and social media director for Moncur and from Team Detroit Daniel Blenman. I learned a lot from the three panel members and they offered great advice for interviews and gave great advice on adjusting my resume.
There was much to learn during the question and answer portion of the SDC and I can see myself using this advice every time I have an interview now.
- Always do your research. There are so many ways to research information about the company, employers and employees, that will not only prepare you more for the interview but will also look good to the employers.
- Do use words like “expert” or “specialist” but don’t undersell yourself either.
- Recognize that everyone have weaknesses and you are no different but you are willing to learn from those weaknesses which can turn negative aspects of the job in to positive aspects.
- Don’t include any political views or church involvement since not everyone has the same political views and those aspects could offend someone.
- Ask about future involvement in the company.
- Don’t be afraid to leave home. There are many times people don’t make an interview because of fear or being unsure about moving out of state but the majority of the time business’s are able to provide help to future employees to move.
- Be conscious of hygiene, perfume or cologne, and clothing options.
Source: Huffington Post
I suggest that everyone should use these tips for interviews because these tips show employers that you are willing to put in the work and dedicate yourself to the job. Even if you don’t get the job, it is a good idea to still reach out to the employer and thank them for taking the time to interview you and ask for advice about your interview skills. On top of these interview tips the panel also shared advice about typing, organizing, and preparing a resume.
- Put all the knowledge gained from school projects, papers, role plays, etc in the skills area of your resume.
- Develop multiple versions of your resume and cover letters to reflect on which position you are applying for.
- Always double, triple, and quadruple check spelling and grammar.
After receiving all this advice I had the opportunity to sit down and show Ms. Cesarz and provide her a copy of my resume that I received critiques about.
- I do not have very much experience in the public relations field since every job I’ve had has been in a restaurant, but Ms. Cesarz suggested keeping only two of the five jobs I had listed and provide aspects from those jobs that I could relate to the public relations.
- I removed my high school education from the education portion of my resume and just kept EMU in there and included my date of graduation.
- Under my skills portion I included projects that I had recently done in some of my classes such as creating a website and making videos.
By making these small adjustments to my resume I feel as if my resume takes my lack of work experience and really describes who I am and shows that I am a hard worker. Also by reworking some portions of my resume I removed some unneeded information that freed up space to include skills that relate more to the public relations field. It is important to remove unneeded information from resumes because an employer looks at a resume for about two seconds and having aspects that aren’t about the job can immediately eliminate your resume. Also creating more than one copy of a resume can come in handy when applying for multiple jobs. When applying for different jobs having different copies of your resume can highlight the reason you are qualified for that specific job.
I learned a lot from the SDC and will be using all the advice I was given when looking and applying for internships over the next couple months. I would suggest to anyone looking for a new job to use all the tips and advice provided.
EMU PR Student