Thank You Notes are Invaluable to the Job Search

Recently, the Grammar Chic blog has championed the long-lost art of thank you note writing, both in the context of the holiday gift season and in the context of weddings/bridal showers.

Today, we address still another occasion on which sending a thank you note is imperative—and that’s when you’re in the midst of a job search.

Why Should Jobseekers Send Thank You Notes?

Following a job interview, you should always send a thank you note to whichever people you interviewed with—and for a few reasons:

  • First, it’s just the polite thing to do; the interviewer gave you some of their valuable time, and you should let them know you appreciate it.
  • It’s a great way to get in just a little more contact with your (potential) future boss—and more contact is always a good thing!
  • Finally, most recruiters and hiring managers prefer receiving thank you notes. According to a study cited in the Chicago Tribune, 70 percent of hiring managers say receiving a thank you note impacts their final decision. Meanwhile, 16 percent say that completely dismiss any candidate who does not send a thank you note!

Bottom line: It’s always in your best interests to send a note, even if you feel as though the interview went badly.

What if You Interviewed with Multiple People?

In some cases, of course, one note won’t cut it; if you interview with multiple people at the same company, it’s best to send a thank you note to each one of them individually. Make sure to personalize each one!

When Should You Send Your Thank You Note?

As for the timing, always aim to send your thank you notes within 24 hours! Note: Emailing them is perfectly fine.

What Should You Include in the Note?

As for what to say, you just need a few short sentences. Make sure you:

  • Address the person by name (check spelling!)
  • Personalize the card with something you learned about the person during the initial “small talk” phase of your interview
  • Reiterate your interest in the position
  • Underscore one or two key reasons why you think you’re qualified for the job; no need to rehash your whole resume, just some main bullet points
  • State how much you appreciate the person’s time and interest

One more thing: If you’re not sure of your thank you note writing skills, the Grammar Chic resume writing team is happy to help. Lean on our expertise for all your job search needs. Contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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10 Steps For a Lean, Focused, and Effective Job Search

Few things are more exhausting—and potentially more demoralizing—than seeking a new job opportunity. It’s tough work, a full-time job in and of itself—and when you don’t get results, you might feel despair.

Don’t. Instead, take time to refocus and revitalize your job search. Make it lean, focused, and efficient. Here are 10 steps to make it happen.

Treat it like an actual job.

We weren’t kidding when we said job searching was like a full-time gig in and of itself. Get up early each morning, head to a home office or favorite coffee shop, and put in the hours—fine-tuning your resume, filling out applications, researching new positions, etc. (If you already have a full-time job, of course, the time you can spend job searching will be more limited, though we still recommend a formal, disciplined, and scheduled approach.)

Give yourself a break.

We recommend the 50/10 rule, or some variation of it: Work hard for 50 minutes, then give yourself 10 to get up, stretch, go for a walk, watch a funny YouTube clip, or do something else to maintain your mental health.

Recharge your batteries.

If you treat your job search as a full-time gig, that means you can allow yourself to take a little time off here and there—think of it as vacation time. When the application process starts to feel wearying, spend a day doing something fun and life-giving.

Research the companies that excite you.

Research is an undervalued part of the job search process. Spend time reading up on different companies, keeping a list of the ones you want to apply to and targeting different positions within the company.

Follow the companies you’re interested in on social media.

Often, that’s how you can be the first to hear about new job openings.

Narrow your job search according to salary.

You know how much money you need to pay the bills, and you know which salary ranges you would and wouldn’t accept. Don’t waste time looking for jobs you know you won’t take.

Find a friend.

Having a support structure is key. Make sure you’re regularly checking in with someone who can speak positivity into your job process, and help you maintain high spirits.

List keywords.

As you look at different job opportunities within your industry, keep notes about the keywords you see across these various listings. Use those to structure and optimize your resume.

Perfect your resume.

That’s where we come in. Schedule a consultation with a Grammar Chic resume writing pro, then let us turn your resume into something that will command attention.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Along the same lines, Grammar Chic’s team can rehabilitate your social media presence, and help you be seen as the candidate of choice among recruiters and hiring managers.

Start taking these steps toward a more efficient job search today—and make sure you call us for those last two! Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Does Your Resume Suffer from TMI?

The role of any good resume is to provide valuable information—data that helps a recruiter or hiring manager make their decision, and ideally material that causes them to decide in your favor. It is possible, however, for your resume to have too much information. The result? A resume that is either unfocused or simply difficult to read.

But where do you draw the line? When have you officially reached the point where you’re trying to pack too much content into your resume? Here are some warning signs for every resume writer to be aware of.

Signs Your Resume Has Too Much Information

Your resume is too long. Most candidates will have a two-page resume with only senior or C-level job seekers extending their document to three. On the other side of that, one-page resumes are usually only for entry-level job seekers. Remember that your resume is meant to curate your career highlights and arrange them in a way that’s impactful; it’s not meant to be a transcript of everything you’ve ever done or said while on the job.

Your resume has big blocks of text. Your core competency and career history sections should both take the form of bulleted lists—condensing your noteworthy points into brief, easy-to-read points. If you have huge blocks of text, anywhere outside of your executive summary, that likely means you haven’t trimmed or curated well enough.

Your resume repeats itself. There’s really no need to pad your resume by reiterating the exact same skillsets for every single job listing. By all means, opt for a shorter resume instead of a needlessly repetitive one.

Your resume has personal information. To be clear, some personal details are legitimate—even vital. Think specifically of contact information—name, address, phone number, email address. What you don’t need to include are age, marital status, race, etc.

Your resume contains superfluous information. Along the same lines, there are some details that simply don’t belong on a resume. Some common examples:

  • High school or college GPA
  • Classes you took in school
  • Reasons for leaving your previous job
  • Salary history—unless it’s specifically requested
  • Hobbies—unless they directly tie into the job you’re applying for

Make Your Resume Lean, Focused, and Effective

A good resume packs a wallop by telling your full story without any needless information or repetition. Our resume writers can help you achieve that kind of focus. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today to schedule your resume consultation: You can reach us at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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The Bride’s Guide to Thank You Notes

We recently made our case for thank you notes—arguing that, far from being antiquated or out of date, thank you notes remain vital ways of extending gratitude and friendship. They are especially relevant during this, the season of giving and receiving gifts.

Of course, Christmas is not the only reason why you might pen a thank you note. Another reason? You’ve recently gotten married, and have a whole stack of notes to send out for all those wedding gifts you received.

This can be daunting. Let us say from the onset that we do not recommend skipping out on thank you note writing. When you get a gift, you should take the time to write a brief note; failure to do so is just rude.

As for the nuts and bolts of post-wedding thank you notes, here are some quick tips and pointers.

Writing Thank You Notes After Your Wedding

Don’t be late! The good news is that you have plenty of time to get all your wedding thank you notes written; etiquette dictates that, so long as you get them all mailed before your one-year anniversary, you’re in good shape. Why not set aside one evening a week to write thank you notes, and write maybe 10 in each sitting? You’ll blaze through ‘em in no time!

Get the names right. There’s nothing more awkward than botching the name of a wedding guest who you really don’t know very well. If you’re not sure about the spelling of a name, always check with a friend or loved one who knows the person better!

Include the children. If someone brings their kids to the wedding, and the gift is said to be from the whole family, the kids need to be included in the thank you note. Again, double check spellings if you’re unsure.

Try to remember who was actually at your wedding. “Thank you for your presence on our special day” is an odd thing to tell someone who wasn’t actually at the ceremony, and simply mailed you their gift. If you’re at all unsure about whether the person was present on your big day, skip this part of the card.

Personalize! A thank you note doesn’t need to be more than a few short sentences, so don’t feel like you have to write a book within each one—but do go into some specifics. “Thank you for the wonderful gift” feels generic. Make note of what the gift is, how you’ve used it, what it reminds you of, etc.

Don’t mention dollar amounts. Phrases like “thank you for the $200 Target gift card” are just not necessary. Focus on people and on gratitude, not on money.

Don’t show favoritism. Don’t slip a wedding portrait into one card if you can’t do it for all of them.

Don’t type your cards. Handwritten is always the way to go.

As we said in our previous post, the real focus should be on sincerity. Take just a couple of sentences to express your deep, personal thanks; that’s all you have to do!

For help with any writing needs, reach out to the Grammar Chic team at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Is Style the Missing Ingredient in Your Online Copywriting?

Online content creation is often spoken of in a purely functional capacity: You need to generate some words that will, in turn, give the search engines something to chew on, all while conveying your branding message in a clear and effective way.

But your writing can be technically precise, grammatically correct, and loaded with all the right SEO keywords, and still fail to make much of an impact—especially if it doesn’t start an emotional connection with your audience.

That’s something that happens only when you write with the right style—including all those old writerly concepts like diction, tone, and voice. Style is the oft-neglected aspect of content marketing—a field too often made dry, colorless, and technical—that often spells the difference between failure and success.

Style Defined

Style can be understood in many different ways; a recent Marketing Land article says it’s “a way of communicating,” which sounds right to us. After all, the style of clothing you wear says something about you, your tastes, your personality; and in the same way, your style of writing can convey communicate something even beyond the literal meaning of your words.

Of course, style can’t be relegated to just one aspect of your writing; it encompasses a few different things, among them:

  • Your diction, or the actual vocabulary choices you make.
  • The reading level you write on—simplistic? Elevated? Technical? Layman-friendly?
  • The author’s “voice”—the personality you inject into your writing.
  • The level of formality you employ.
  • The way your text looks on the page—for instance, short vs. long sentences, etc.

Why Style Matters

In the end, though, does style really matter? It does, and for a simple reason: Effective marketing copy must appeal to more than just the rational mind. Emotions are just as impactful to purchasing decisions. (Have you ever made an “impulse buy” that you couldn’t really explain, just because it felt right to do so?)

That’s not to say that writing has to be a direct appeal to emotions; in some contexts, something a little more formal and impersonal might actually be more appropriate. Yet style can have an effect on the subconscious, and make a reader either more or less agreeable to trusting your brand. For example, a style that’s technical and erudite will lead to a deeper innate trust of your highly-technical product, while something warmer and more casual would work better when trying to appeal to the readers of a parenting blog.

For marketers, style can be relied on for three basic purposes:

  • It can help establish and earn trust, as in our example of high-level style for a highly technical product.
  • It can help establish a connection with your reader, really lodging information in the brain.
  • It can have aesthetic appeal unto itself—causing readers to take notice.

Bring Style to Your Marketing

Are you ready to inject some style into your marketing copy—helping it become powerful and resonate? Our writers can help. We’re well-versed in creating marketing copy to fit any asked-for style or voice. Learn more about our style-savvy ghostwriting services by contacting Grammar Chic today—www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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A Quick Guide to Enterprise SEO

Every company wants to be found by search engine users; for this reason, every company should have an interest in search engine optimization. It’s been said before, but warrants repeating: Any company that can’t be found by the Google algorithms might as well be invisible.

But of course, specific SEO needs vary greatly from one business to the next. A small, local brick-and-mortar store has a radically different SEO agenda than, say, an international conglomerate.

This brings us to enterprise SEO, a subset of search engine optimization that caters specifically to the needs of very large businesses. But what does enterprise SEO really entail—and what makes it different from other SEO endeavors?

Enterprise SEO Defined

Essentially, when we talk about enterprise SEO, we’re talking about search engine optimization activities for Fortune 1000 companies—big brands whose needs are more robust (and whose budgets are typically bigger) than, say, mom and pop shops.

Enterprise SEO needs are varied. On the one hand, there is a need to be discoverable by everyday consumers—especially in localized contexts. At the same time, enterprise SEO must preserve online reputation while advancing global branding. A good enterprise SEO campaign will balance these different concerns, and will take an interest in both granular and big-picture issues.

Hiring an Enterprise SEO Company

Enterprise SEO companies—which typically work closely with existing marketing departments and CMOs—must bring some unique skillsets to bear. A few of these include:

  • Search engine trends can turn on a dime, and it’s important for big enterprises to be able to pivot accordingly.
  • It’s simply impossible to do efficient enterprise-level work without automation. A good enterprise SEO company will be certified and experienced in key technologies.
  • The volume of content that’s needed for effective enterprise SEO is typically quite large; it requires someone who’s able to keep up with this work.
  • CMOs want to see that their efforts are paying off—and the only way to prove this to them is to furnish them with advanced data and analytics.

Embracing Enterprise SEO

For companies that are large in size, the work of SEO can be daunting—but with the right partner, it’s possible to achieve great results. Engaging an enterprise SEO firm—complemented with a strong content campaign—can be the critical first step in that direction. Consider whether enterprise SEO is right for your company’s needs.

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Are Thank You Notes a Thing of the Past?

Pretty soon, you’ll be unwrapping boxes and reveling in gifts—but as you do so, don’t forget to thank the gift giver. There is no better way of doing so than by penning a thank you note.

Yes, the thank you note—once a staple of American social etiquette, today relegated to history books and Jimmy Fallon bits. According to recent research, some 75 percent of Americans believe thank you notes to be antiquated and obsolete—though it’s worth noting that this leaves a full quarter of Americans who still expect a thank you note when they give a gift.

At Grammar Chic, we are decidedly pro thank you note. Speaking personally, my mother always carved out time for thank you notes in the aftermath of Christmas and birthdays, and would stand looking over my shoulder until the notes were completed.

They may not be “necessary,” according to most Americans, but they are polite—and what’s more, they are simple and easy ways to show kindness, to express gratitude, and to help gift givers know that they affected you in some way. People won’t always remember how you thanked them in person, but they will remember a sincere and well-constructed note of gratitude.

Consider thank you note writing this holiday season—and as you do so, use these tips to ensure that your thank you notes resonate.

Writing the Perfect Thank You Note

  • A thank-you note should always be handwritten. Remember that the whole point of this is to provide personal expressions of gratitude, and something you type loses some of that human touch.
  • Generally, it’s good manners to mail your thank you note within a week of receiving a gift. The exception is a scenario where you receive a lot of gifts at one time, like a wedding or a baby shower, in which case more time is permitted.
  • The stationery you choose matters! A nice piece of writing paper adds panache to your thank you note, and turns it into something the recipient will truly treasure.
  • Begin your note with a greeting, conveying who you’re thanking.
  • Start your message with “thank you,” and keep things fairly brief from there. Convey a few specifics if you can, making it clear that the message is personalized—not boilerplate.
  • End your thank you note by telling the person you look forward to seeing them again soon, and state your thanks once more before signing your name.

Above all, be sweet and sincere—and if you have any specific questions about proper thank you note form, reach out to our team! Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. for any of your seasonal writing needs: www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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