I got an email a while ago from a candidate that didn’t get the job. It’s not uncommon to hear back from a runner-up In fact, a thorough “thank you” note after the overall process concludes is a requirement if you wanna be memorable…even if you didn’t get the job. I’ve fast-tracked people on positions before simply because I remembered them from a previous interview or conversation
Why am I harping on this here?
This “thank you” note was shared with the entire hiring team, who appreciated the feedback on the interview process (that we’ve worked so hard to fine-tune!). Here’s a slightly altered version of the email (Gotta maintain confidentiality where possible):
I’m writing to say thank you again for considering me for the [Generalist] position in your [Boston] office. I greatly enjoyed speaking with the team, and was very impressed with how you guys conducted the process with an emphasis on values and culture. Though you went forward with another candidate, I’m still excited about the prospect of working at [the company] in the future.
Please do keep me in mind if another opportunity arises that would be a better fit for my strengths and experience. Thank you again for your time and consideration and I hope to keep in touch!
When a similar opportunity comes up, we’ll remember this person. She didn’t say anything crazy or ground-breaking, but her positive attitude reaffirmed why she was a finalist, and why we need to keep her in mind. Second place doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
What does this mean for you?
Always do what you can to be memorable, even if you don’t get the job or opportunity. A few positive words go a long way. They build good karma, which at some point is bound to come back to you. Who knows? A peer or peer organization may be looking for someone with this candidate’s background and we might refer her to them. The same could be the case for you.
NOTE: After publishing this post, I realized this could be applied to just about anything. Whether you’re a salesperson or entrepreneur trying to bring in a client, or a speaker that gets declined for a speaking engagement, you can always be positive and memorable. FIN.