If you know the rules of the game you can leverage them to your advantage. One rule is that first impressions count so use that to your advantage. If that is true then when does the first impression start? It may start with your social profiles, or your resume, or when you answer the phone or when you have your first face to face interview.
Sorry, social profiles do count. Remember when you pontificated about how you think Donald Trump should be a member of the Hair Club for men? Well, maybe the person who is recruiting for the position you just applied for is a big fan of Trumps. You might not care that much but you will never know because they won’t call you.
So, before you start applying to positions, clean up the mess you have made on social media. Yes, you have free speech rights… but they are also free to not hire your loud mouth self.
Next take a look at your resume. At a minimum, be sure it is up to date with correct spelling and grammar. It is hard to believe someone who says: “I am detale oriened.”
Then let’s look at your email address. Is SexyMike@ really what you want people to see first? While we are at it change your voicemail message to something professional and sound upbeat. If you have one of the phones that plays a song when I call you… stop it. You also need to be sure you check and clear your messages regularly and check your spam mail for emails from companies. It is actually not a bad idea to start a new email address just for the job search. That way any emails will not get lost in your inbox.
What do you say when you answer the phone? Let me back up… don’t answer the phone if you can’t talk unless you are ready to schedule a time to talk. It is VERY frustrating when I call someone and they say “OH, I can’t talk right now I am (insert excuse here) can I call you back?” You ALWAYS want to set up a day and time to follow up. Any sales person worth their salt knows you set a specific day and time for the follow up.
When you have a scheduled time for an interview be sure you are ready ahead of time and you have a good signal if you are on your cell. It is VERY frustrating if the call keeps getting dropped or if your dog keeps barking.
If it is a face to face interview be sure you are dressed appropriately. You also want to be SURE you know where the office is, how to get there and where to park. I have done dry-runs in the past before my interviews to be sure I knew where to go. Interviews are stressful enough when everything goes right.
Once you leave your house the interview starts. The person that you told was #1 on the way to the interview…. strange, they pulled in the same parking lot as you. Oh, wait… oh NO! They work there. I also frequently ask the receptionist what they thought of you. We may even watch you when you get out of your car or when you walk back to the car after the interview 🙂
Be the type of person you want to meet.