The Career Doctor: Career Advice for All
A Career College and Job-Search Advice Column
Dr. Randall Hansen a nationally recognized career expert is the Career Doctor. Discover more about Dr. Hansen read about the purpose of this column and find previous issues of this column at the home of The Career Doctor.
If you have any college career or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Hansen writes this column on a biweekly basis.
Note: Readers can find other columns from this year in Current Year Archives of The Career Doctor Q&A.
In This Issue (12/02/05):
- Converting a season job to a permanent position
- Dealing with the ever-increasing time of job-searches
- Preparing for interviews with salary range in mind
- Returning a week later to request a business card
|Q:||Rob writes: My name is Rob and I am currently one of many folks who have been employed as holiday help. I took this job on a lark but I have found I really have a knack for retail and working with customers and I want to continue working past next month. What can I do? Should I wait until after the holidays to say something? What are my chances? Thanks for any suggestions.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I think holiday work is a lot like temp work in that it’s a great opportunity for job-seekers to get a foot in the door. Yes most holiday workers are hired only with the promise of working for a certain amount of time but by making a name for yourself during those short months you are on the job you may be able to turn that holiday position into something permanent.
What are some tips for making a name for yourself?
Read more tips and suggestions in this article published on Quintessential Careers: Converting your Seasonal Job to a Permanent Position: Tips for Success.
|Q:||Shonkaye writes: I have read almost every book and article regarding interview follow up and while I have done well I have encountered a scenario that I have not encountered before maybe because I am not a professional interviewer. I recently interviewed with a company I was told a decision would be made by the first of the following week and was urged to call if I had not heard from the interviewer. I did. I called by 10:00 a.m. on the day I was told and was informed she needed another week to make a decision. While she was impressed she wanted to see if any other qualified applicants responded to the ad. Now with that being said should I f ollow up on the same day the following week — which will be a full week?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: If you’ve read the books and followed my column with any frequency you know what my answer is going to be’ job-seekers must follow-up and continue following-up as often as necessary until a final decision is made.
Employers still have the luxury ‘ they won’t in another decade or so ‘ of taking as long as they want in their quest to find the ideal person for the job and organization. They know you are not going anywhere so while they keep you (and perhaps one or two others) on hold they can continue interviewing perhaps continue advertising for the position.
But employers be forewarned’ the times they are a changing’ and most experts predict that a pretty severe labor crunch is going to happen in the next decade or so as baby boomers continue to leave the traditional job market in record numbers leaving a mad scramble for available job-seekers with the skills and talents required.
I would call the same day and depending on the response call back later in the week. I think as long as you don’t start calling everyday or every hour every day you should be okay. Even better if you have some news to add to the follow-up such as a new accomplishment award or training ‘ anything can be an excuse to call and ‘update’ your profile while really following-up on your application.
Remember. Be persistent. Demonstrate your interest. Be a little aggressive. Be professional. And make sure to not be a pest in any way.
And don’t forget to read these Job Interview Follow-Up Do’s and Don’ts published on Quintessential Careers.
|Q:|| Anonymous writes: I recently read an article of yours advising job seekers to not discuss salaries too early in the hiring process. I would like to say that although I agree with your assertion it is not very relevant to the realities of today’s marketplace. I am currently looking for work as a business analyst and the fact is that more often than not employers want to discuss salary expectations in the first interview. In fact it is usually the 2nd or 3rd question asked. I try to avoid answering these questions directly but the bottom line is what is on their mind-employers want to know what you are going to cost.
So I was wondering if you have any advice for job seekers like myself who are having these experiences?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Well I do absolutely hate this trend. However I also do understand it. These employers mean business and only want to deal with serious candidates. If a job-seeker replies with a salary expectation too far above or below the range s/he can be quickly dismissed as someone who does not fit the criteria for the position.
So while I still think the question — or the more detailed negotiation — should be later in the job-search process this trend really puts the burden on job-seekers to be prepared for any and all questions in these initial screening interviews whether they happen on a college campus or at a career fair.
There is no excuse for not being prepared. So do your homework and have a salary range in mind that meets your needs and is in the typical range for the position you are seeking. There’s no sense wasting your time or theirs if the numbers don’t match up.
And you do need to have a number in mind — because I have seen some recruiters just keep asking the question non-stop until the job-seeker finally gives some figure. Once that’s been done though it’s time to move on to why you should be hired — and save the final salary negotiation for later in the process once the employer is ready to make an offer.
For a comprehensive review of negotiating the best job offer take a trip through the Salary Negotiation and Job Offer Tutorial on Quintessential Careers.
|Q:||Maurice writes: I just attended a job interview where I forgot to get the business card of the interviewer. Would it be okay if I go back there to ask for it? This was precisely seven days ago.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: No no don’t bother going back now. Why have you waited so long? If I read between the lines I also assume it means you have not written a thank you letter yet correct?
Well it’s never too late’ but I would not waste the time or face an awkward moment in going back and asking for a business card; instead I would call the office and ask for the title and correct spelling of the interviewer’s name. I would then very quickly write a thank-you note that expresses your appreciation for the interview and reinforces your fit with the position’ and then I would hand deliver it so the person gets it that same day or the next.
These days as the job-search stretches weeks (and even months) it’s probably okay to be this late with the thank-you note but in the future try to get the letter out the same or next day.
And for you job-seekers who do not see the value in writing a thank-you note after job interviews let me just stress the importance of business manners’ and if you want strategy the reason you should do it is because so few of your fellow job-seekers do it that you will stand out from them by sending a thank you.
Still unsure? Read these FAQs About Thank You Letters.