There are a number of proven unwritten and unspoken rules of job searching if mastered can enhance your chances of obtaining a coveted job offer. By practicing these etiquette principles in seven distinct ways may differentiate oneself from others on the market.
1. Job Fair
Before attending a job fair, obtain a list of companies who are scheduled to be there and research the companies. Find a nugget or two that demonstrates you know something about the firm. Never go up to the employer and say tell me a little something about your company. No employer wants to hear it. It’s the comment that keeps you from moving forward in the process.
2. Information Interviews
These are designed to learn more about a person, position, function or company. Do not directly ask for a job, it is implied. Respect the interviewee’s time by clearly articulating your 30-second commercial, which gives them a specific, tangible action item to help you at the conclusion of the interview. To encourage interviewee follow up, send a handwritten thank you note for their time.
3. Job Interview
Again, be prepared, and arrive on time. Research the firm in greater depth and have questions ready to ask throughout the day. At the conclusion of the interview, if you want the job, then ask for it. Also, send thank you notes reinforcing your gratitude and desire for the position.
4. Job seeker accepting an offer
Once an offer has been extended, show your appreciation and ask for time to consider it. Once you verbally accept the offer, cease all other recruiting and interviewing activities.
5. Job seeker declining an offer
Start by thanking the employer for the opportunity to interview and express how difficult a decision this was for you, but in the end you decided to decline their offer. Ask to stay in touch over the next couple of months and follow up with the employer 30, 60 or 90 days out. You may need that offer at a later time.
6. Job seeker is rejected
The natural instinct is to get mad and move on, but there is a better option. If you have interviewed and were not extended an offer, perhaps you are their #2 choice. Start again, by showing grace, humility and gratitude by thanking them for the opportunity to interview. Ask if it would be okay to follow up in the near future, and do it. Perhaps choice number one declines the employer, quits or is not a fit. Follow up and stay in touch.
7. Practice reciprocity
Help others who helped you. Chances are you will switch jobs or career every three years. During this three-year period there will be numerous people asking you for help in their own job process. Allocate your time and give freely to these individuals in need.