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How the Perfect Quickie Will Make You a Standout

December 30, 2009
by Gwen Darling
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I’ve fielded many emails from Healthcare IT job seekers and employers during the past few weeks, seeking advice about how to best leverage the holiday season. Continuing education is always a wise investment, so in an earlier post this month, I compiled an HCI Blogger Team recommended reading list, which provided a wide assortment of titles designed to expand the minds and notions of the Healthcare IT crowd. I’ve also encouraged both employers and job seekers to continue to actively post and apply for new opportunities – the traffic on shows a substantial spike in the last week, probably fueled by a desire for change in 2010 and the need for a convenient escape (“Honey I’d love to get up at 6am and fight the mall crowds with you, your mother, and our newborn triplets, but I’m going to take one for the team and stay home to research new opportunities!”) But the one most important thing that all job seekers (and actually, the rest of us, too) should be doing before we take our first steps into the New Year didn’t occur to me until I received a fantastic thank you note from a job seeker named Danielle who I “met” through her use of the Healthcare IT Central resources.

Danielle’s note impressed me on two levels: First, on a personal level. As an entrepreneur – well, it’s just plain gratifying to know that your 60+ hours a week is appreciated and that maybe you weren’t crazy after all to launch a new resource in the midst of a recession. That’s simple. But the second reason Danielle’s thank you is so memorable is a bit more complex, and a bit more brilliant (on her part). Because actually, Danielle’s written the perfect job seeker thank you note. Let us dissect – Danielle’s copy is in blue:


As we enter the holiday season I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your help in the job search process. With your assistance, I have been able to reach out to a large number of people and companies. While I had hoped to announce a new paying position by this time, I have explored many very interesting opportunities and I continue to actively interview. I believe that it is only a matter of time until I find one that is just the right fit.

This paragraph tells me she is: Grateful, humble, still looking, and has a wonderful can-do, will-do attitude.

My service so far on the Certification Commission on Health IT (CCHIT) work group has been fascinating. The public comment period for the draft Behavioral Health Care Electronic Medical Records criteria recently ended. We now have 600+ comments to sift through and incorporate prior to final publication.

This paragraph tells me she is: Spending her transition time in a very productive, educational, and networking-rich environment.

The statistics show that networking is one of the most important ways to find a new position and that the majority of positions are secured through one of your secondary contacts (A friend of a friend). So I am once again asking you to think of me if something relevant comes to mind. Your help in providing introductions and suggestions of additional target organizations and contacts has been my greatest resource. Thank you!

This paragraph tells me she is: Actively strategizing, continuing to seek counsel, and once again, grateful.

Short, sweet (but not too) and to the point – what my tenth grade 80-yr. old typing teacher used to refer to as “the perfect quickie.” (You go Mrs. Johnson!) Now, is Danielle any more qualified than the thousands of other Healthcare IT job seekers who I’m fortunate to come in contact with through the Healthcare IT Central network? I honestly don’t know. Yet. But I will make it my mission to learn more about her talents, because Danielle’s approach to her job search reveals a great deal about her resourcefulness, networking acumen, time management skills, and yes, her appreciation for the work of others. In short, with one simple but extremely well-crafted thank you note, she has become a standout.

For job seekers, the takeaway from this example is fairly obvious. As Danielle’s gesture has illustrated, sending a sincere and well-written thank you note to anyone who has supported your job search efforts this year is a very wise investment of your time. Take it from someone who knows – they will appreciate it and you, too, will become a standout. But how about for the rest of us? Would a sincere and well-written thank you note to colleagues, management, mentors, and even employees (especially employees) as an end-of-the-year gesture be a wise investment for us before we venture into 2010? I’m thinking so. Your recipients will appreciate the gesture, and you'll become a standout, which may come in handy on down the road. So I’ll go first. To all of you who have supported my efforts here at HCI and over at Healthcare IT Central – it’s been a privilege to partner, work, learn, grow, and laugh with you this year. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in 2010! Happy New Year!

Your turn – go forth and be grateful. You’ll thank me!

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