Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of hiring at work (I work for a nonprofit in the Boston area), and I have been amazed how job applicants miss out on some very basic best practices in job searching. I keep my coworkers entertained with the job search don’ts that I’ve encountered, and I thought I could do more with what I’ve observed. So, here are 9 job search tips. If you’re looking for a job, I hope you’ll find them helpful.
1. Don’t have typos in your application materials. Proofread!
2. Respond to the job that’s listed – not one for another company (you wouldn’t believe how many times this happens).
3. If the listing says no phone calls, don’t call.
4. Don’t show up at a company without an appointment (or a resume). (Exceptions can be made if you’re applying to a job in retail or food service where “help wanted” signs are an invitation to ask about openings.)
5. If a job listing asks you to submit multiple documents (e.g., resume, cover letter, writing sample, or salary history), send them in. There’s a reason you are being asked to do this, and not complying can remove you from consideration.
6. Show up on time for your interview, dress professionally (no sandals!), turn off your phone (off not silenced), and make eye contact.
7. Say thank you. Say thank you to the person who greets you and gets you a glass of water and to the person who interviews you. Send a thank you note (email is fine) to your interviewer. Send it right away. It’s good manners, and it’s an excellent way to solidify your interest in the job.
8. When a hiring manager reaches out to you afterward with questions, answer in a professional manner and in a timely fashion.
9. (This last one is a personal pet peeve.) When offered a job, don’t say “let me talk to my husband/wife/partner.” Say “thanks for all of this information, I’d like time to think it over.” Saying you need to talk to someone else implies you cannot make decisions on your own! And, even though you, of course, want to talk to the important person in your life about this (great) new opportunity, be mindful of how you phrase your response so you project confidence.
There are gazillion more tips out there (I could go on and on), but the most important strategy is to be yourself.
What would you you add to this list? Tell me your favorite job search tips in the comments below.