In a recent blog post I outlined some of the biggest job seeker mistakes to avoid, based on my own experience hiring a paid intern. Today, I’ll share some simple but impactful tactics to help you land the job you want.
1. Spell the recruiter or hiring manager’s name right. Of the emails I received responding to the position I posted, about half spelled my name wrong. That’s an instant sign that a candidate lacks attention to detail.
2. Know as much as you can about the employer. The job I posted was for an intern to help edit the second edition of my book, Getting from College to Career. Although I didn’t require anyone to read the book before interviewing with me, the two people who had taken the time to read even one chapter impressed me the most. The one who read my entire book got the job. Given the amount of information you can find on the web, it’s inexcusable not to thoroughly research the company — scour its website, use its products, read its press releases — that you want to work for.
3. Be positive. Particularly in challenging economic times, employers want to hire people who will be a positive, helpful presence. No one likes a complainer. This includes criticizing a previous employer. A job interview is your chance to shine and to demonstrate your enthusiasm for a position; even if you’re a little bitter from a previous experience or a long job hunt, don’t let those emotions creep out in front of an interviewer.
4. Send a thank you email within 24 hours of interviewing. If I don’t receive an email within a day of the interview, I assume the person is not really interested in the position. The thank you email doesn’t have to be long; it just has to be sent. Although handwritten notes are lovely (and can be sent in addition to an email), in this day and age you have to be fast.
5. Respond positively to rejection. I was extremely impressed by a few applicants to my internship who wrote me very nice notes in response to my email saying that I had chosen a different candidate. Their graciousness has led me to keep their resumes on file in case I have a position in the future that might be a good fit.
What other simple strategies do you recommend for job seekers? Remember that seemingly small actions can make a very big difference!