1. Maintain a Professional Attitude
- Be diplomatic, careful with your words, and understanding while a company makes a hiring decision.
- Don’t badmouth your current or past employers. If you can’t say something positive about your past employer, zip it. Even if you’re right, it reflects poorly on you.
- Don’t ghost people – especially when you’re in the interview or offer stage. People don’t forget; over time, they will be scattered throughout the industry you want to work in. A bad impression made today may haunt you tomorrow.
2. Be Detailed
- Spell check and grammar check everything: emails, text messages, resumes…everything.
- Have someone else review your resume. Fresh eyes can see things that you may miss.
- Print out your resume to review it. You may find errors that weren’t apparent on the computer screen. (I don’t know why. It’s just true.)
- If you have an online networking profile, make sure it’s current and matches your resume.
3. Exercise Patience
- Companies hire on their timeline.
- Internal projects may arise that take priority over interviewing and hiring.
- The company’s hiring process probably won’t change for you. If you are frustrated with their process, you may have bigger problems being employed by them.
- Don’t be impatient or pushy with the company. They use the interviewing process to gain insight into how you’ll handle the realities of the job, the corporate atmosphere, and company politics.
- It’s good to express continued interest, but your rank may decrease if that turns into anxiety, anger, or impatience.
- Avoid sarcasm and passive anger in emails. Companies may not always get back to you promptly – after all, you may not have landed the job. This is extremely important because:
- If you’re not chosen for the job, you want to leave them with a good impression; let them know that you appreciate the opportunity and are interested in future openings that they may have.
4. Be Responsive
- If a company reaches out to you to schedule an interview, get back to them right away with enthusiasm.
- It’s hard to justify a response arriving after 24 hours. We live in a world of instant communication. Everyone has a mobile phone. (You may be looking at it now.)
5. Be Humble
- As you advance up the ranks and your salary increases, job options in your industry will tend to diminish. Companies only need so many Vice Presidents.
- Present your achievements and awards, but let others say how great you are.
- Sometimes the job market is hot. Sometimes it’s not. But always behave as if it’s not.