I think one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my career, involve the job search itself. How many others are applying for this job? What are they like? Are they more qualified than I am? Did my resume get into HR’s hands? Would they really want to interview me? How will I know? This is all out of my control! Have you said these things to yourself?
It may feel out of your control after you press submit, but it’s not. The worst thing you can do is just sit on your hands and wait for the call. This economy isn’t what it used to be. Simply applying for a job and waiting for the manager to call you is not sufficient. There is a lot of competition for all jobs in this market, if you want one, you need to stand out! Trust me on this one, this one factor has been consistent with every state I’ve lived in, and every job I’ve been offered (post 2008 after the market crash).
There is a lot of good information out there for how to interview well. Quintessential hits the nail on a head with these tips. 15 Quick Tips for Finding a New Job
In all my interviews and job applications, the one thing that set me apart was this:
So, why would that set me apart? Can’t anyone do this? Yes, but they don’t. Why? you might ask. Because following up sets an applicant up for potential rejection. Rejection can cause a pretty good amount of fear in most people. Job hunting is also a good amount of work you’re not getting paid for, and you may not see any return on your investment for a while. So, why do more than the bare minimum? Because, eventually, you will see the return and you will get the job! Because you went the extra mile, and the other guys didn’t. This perseverance makes you look good to employers. If you are willing to go the extra mile to get the job, it shows you will do the same when you have the job.
If you are willing to go the extra mile to get the job, it shows you will do the same when you have the job.
Persevere….and work harder than your competition!
This perseverance is how I supported my family moving from state to state over the last ten years. When I was working for big car company, and looking for another job, I was following up with hiring managers on my lunch break. I had a day planner which had every company I needed to call that day. I set them up for one week after I applied. If the front desk person answered they were typically very helpful in getting me to the right person. If they weren’t frankly it made me wonder if I wanted to work there anyway 🙂 While others were taking it easy, I was hustling to change my circumstances. I stood out because I wouldn’t let my resume get lost in the shuffle. I was offered a lot of interviews by diligently following up on all the jobs I applied to. Keep in mind, I had to do this all online too. I didn’t know anyone each time I moved. I had to do this cold, which made it more challenging, but not impossible.
You’ve been asked to Interview!
Congratulations! all the hard work is paying off! The hiring manager called you, and asked you to come in for an interview! This is no guarantee for a job, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. The interview itself can be a bit nerve wracking. I wrote a post about decoding your interview here.
There is a ton of information out there about successful interviewing, here is an one example from U.S News Money 5 Tips for Instant Interview Success
Many people will do the tips on this list. Many people will interview very well. However, the hiring manager will have many interviews for one job. How do you stand out among the many?
The Thank you Note
Who sends thank you notes in this day and age?!? That’s so old fashioned! I already had the interview, it’s up to the hiring manager from here. I don’t want to seem pushy, I’ll just wait and let them call me to tell me I got the job! That is what your competition is saying. That is what nearly everyone else that interviewed for that dream job is saying. That’s why by writing a thank you note, you stand a better chance at getting that great job! Some more examples can be found here After the Interview: Sample Thank you letters
Snail mail? or email?
Whether you write a hand written thank you card, or an email is up to you. Which do you think would have more impact on you getting the job? If they have just started interviewing, and they are not looking to fill the position for a few weeks, you can mail out the thank you card. It they are looking to fill the position ASAP, I would email a thank you note. I will say that writing a hand written thank you note does stand out, not many people receive those now a days! A hand written thank you card does not risk ending up in a spam folder 🙂 However, I completely understand sometimes times is of the essence. The main point I’m trying to drive home here is that the person interviewing you took time to meet with you. Not sending a thank you note of some sort would be rude.
It’s another touch, and another chance!
The thank you email or note is also another way to keep your name fresh while a hiring decision is being made! It’s like in marketing we talk about the seven touches. This is kind of similar here. I say kind of because trying to contact a hiring manager seven times in a short period of time is a bit overkill 🙂 However, it is a chance for you to look good in front of the hiring manager again. Which never hurt anyone 🙂
But….what if I realized the job isn’t for me….
Oh boy, I’ve been there! I had an interview that was so bad, I didn’t want the job, after 4 months of unemployment! It was that bad! But, I still wrote a thank you note. You never know who knows who. Even if the job wasn’t for you, you don’t want that person telling other people you would be a bad hire. At this point, its just common courtesy.
I know this economy is rough. I know this so very well! I’m pullin’ for ya! This is what I did to keep employed moving from state to state across the country. I hope these tips help you too!