Now more than ever, having positive references to cite during your job search is invaluable. With job markets becoming more and more competitive, potential employers will look to your contacts as testaments of your work ethic, personality, and ability to perform. However, once you achieve employment, it is important to show your gratitude to those who helped you along the way.
Send a thank-you note.
Although you may be tempted to send a thank-you via e-mail, don’t. Take the old fashion route and send a handwritten thank-you card to those who served as a reference. Spending the extra five minutes to write a note will show your appreciation in a personal and memorable way. Be sure to thank your contact for serving as a reference and assure them you will continue to work hard in order to reaffirm their praise of you. Your new job will keep you busy, but remember to show your gratitude in a prompt manner.
Perhaps the greatest way to repay a reference is to perform well in your new position. This is especially important if your reference used personal or professional connections to help you secure an interview and job. Excelling in your job will not only make you look good, but will also reinforce your reference’s trust in you. Think of your reference as an endorsement on your behalf. In order to keep a positive, professional relationship, it is important to excel in your new position and prove yourself to both your new employer and your reference.
Keep your contacts updated.
Updating your contact on your success and growth is another thoughtful way to include them in your endeavors. Sending information regarding your job development or a recent promotion every now and then will make your reference feel involved and appreciated. This will also help keep you in contact for any future recommendations you may need.
The reality is most of us get our foot in the door based on who we know. Showing gratitude to your contacts is a great way to maintain a professional relationship that will continue to benefit you throughout your career.