Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the May 10, 2004 issue of QuintZine.
Many of today’s job seekers have great resumes, ace interviews, provide stellar recommendations and still don’t get the coveted job offer. According to a recent poll with leading employers and recruiters, conducted by The Career Exposure Network, the reason could lie in the right follow-up.
Eighty-two percent of employers and recruiters told The Career Exposure Network that a thank-you note is a critical follow-up after the job interview. Hiring managers report that the thank-you note demonstrates that the applicant is serious about the opportunity and indicates a level of professionalism — a primary characteristic that employers seek in job candidates.
“Your thank-you letter provides a tremendous opportunity to summarize the interview and tell me again how you can contribute,” commented one employer. “I always expect to see a note — it shows courtesy and demonstrates that you are interested.” Eighty-one percent of employers and recruiters also told The Career Exposure Network that email is their preferred method of receiving a follow-up. According to one recruiter, “I prefer email because it arrives much faster than regular mail, and it can be in the hands of decision-makers BEFORE a final selection decision is made.” The Career Exposure Network is a suite of niche sites that includes CareerWomen.com, DiversitySearch.com and MBACareers.com. For more about thank-you notes, see our article, FAQs About Thank You Letters, and our collection of free sample thank-you letters.
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 567 men and women employed full-time in professional environments.
Workers were asked, “Which one of the following has the greatest impact in shaping one’s professional reputation?” Their responses:
- Communication style: 49 percent
- How the person conducts himself or herself when the boss is out of the office: 31 percent
- How often others consult with the person for advice and information: 15 percent
- Personal grooming: 3 percent
- Something else: 1 percent
- Don’t know/no answer: 1 percent
- Try to trim your expenses and make sure your health insurance is taken care of.
- Take time to grieve if you need it.
- Ask yourself why it happened. Maybe you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But look at the overall health of your industry and your type of job. Are we just in a blip, or is your industry going downhill? Are your skills less valuable than they used to be? Are jobs like yours being shipped overseas? Look at your attitude, too. Were you just going through the motions because you didn’t care anymore? Were you tired of your career or your employer?
- Consider what kind of job you want next. A good network won’t help you much if people don’t know what you’re looking for. Don’t assume friends and former colleagues know exactly where your skills and interests lie. Tell them — concisely. Be as specific as you can, so the details stick in their memory.
- List your target companies. Blasting out hundreds of resumes is pretty useless. Focus on attractive companies you’re qualified for. Research those companies. Network with employees. Identify their needs and how your talents can help.
- Determine how you will stand out. Think about what you can do to make yourself a better worker, and person, a year from now than you are today. A layoff is a crisis, certainly, but it is also an opportunity. You have more time to learn now than when you’re overwhelmed with work.
- Fill your laid-off time productively. Study Spanish, do volunteer work, create a Web site, try being a consultant. If you’re out of work for a year — and, sad to say, many people are — and all you have to show for it is 12 months of sending resumes and going on interviews, you won’t impress anyone.
For more tips about recovering from a layoff, see our article, Getting Fired: An Opportunity for Change and Growth.
Review all our Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.