After you have been through the series of interviews for university employment you wonder, “Should I write thank you notes for the interview?” The entire hiring process happens very quickly these days, so by the time you get the thank you notes mailed, a decision may have already been made.
Nevertheless, you should still write a note to everyone who spent time in an individual interview with you or who helped out in a special way with the interview process: the recruiter who scheduled the interviews, the young employee who took you on a campus tour, the receptionist who went out of her way to assist you when you arrived for the interviews.
If you are awarded the position, thank you notes will help your new colleagues think favorably of you. If you are not awarded the position, it may help them remember you if another position comes up or if their first choice for the position doesn’t work out. Universities tend to be rather traditional, so being polite never hurts when it comes to academic jobs.
When you write your note thank them for spending their valuable time with you and then reinforce something from your interview, or cover something that you did not get the chance to discuss:
“I was interested to hear your concerns about infighting among the current employees reporting to this position and feel my experience in building teams from disparate groups will be of great use to this institution.”
“I think my experience in building relationships throughout the organization will go a long way toward healing some of the negative relationships caused by previous practices.”
In short, a thank you note shows that you are interested in the position, and allows you the opportunity to make a final impression on the people making the hiring decisions.
Dindy Robinson is Director of Compensation at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.
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