1. Check Your Demeanor – When meeting a potential employer in person, be sure your attire is appropriate within the context of the work environment. Dressing up shows respect for an organization, and it’s an indication you feel the interviewer and your potential employer are very important. In addition, mind your social presence: pay attention to your body language and how you are interacting with each individual you meet during your interview process. Make sure to smile and present yourself with confidence and a positive attitude. Strive to leave a positive and lasting first impression.
2. Be Professional in All Correspondence – Proper e-mail and phone etiquette are critical during a job search. Avoid sending potential employers any messages from an e-mail address that includes silly words, phrases, inappropriate jokes, etc. Setting up a new e-mail account using your own name not only will help you appear more professional and qualified, but it will also help to reinforce your name into the mind of your possible future employer. Consider attaching an e-mail signature that includes links to your professional profiles as well as your phone number. If you aren’t able to answer your phone all the time, make sure your voicemail box is set up to receive messages, and your outgoing message is polite and advises callers you will get back to them as soon as possible. No matter what manner of correspondence is used, make sure you depict a respectful and courteous tone.
3. Follow the Employers’ Instructions – Employers are not trying to trick you; they want to fill the position as much as you want to work. When an employer says, “Do not call,” don’t call. When you hear, “Attach your cover letter and resume,” provide what has been requested. If they ask for your information in a particular format, make sure you oblige their requests. Doing so streamlines the interview and hiring processes, and following directions shows respect and demonstrates a willingness to be a team player. Remember: the hiring process starts from your first contact with an employer, so make a good impression by paying attention and providing everything that is asked of you.
4. Follow Up – You’ve applied for the job. Now what? A good rule of thumb is to wait a week before following up with your potential employer for a status update. Waiting a week to follow up gives the employer enough time to sort through the potential candidates to have preliminary ideas regarding each interview, and will also show the employer you are very interested in the position while still being respectful of their time. Be sure to use the appropriate contact channels when it comes to reaching out, and always remember to be professional and courteous in your communication. Try to get a firm idea of the time frame of the hiring process so you can stay productive on your end. Avoid coming across too strong by keeping correspondence friendly, and always be sure you are leaving a good impression.
5. Have a 2-Minute Commercial Ready – The purpose of your 2-minute commercial is to speak with confidence about yourself to your prospective employers. This is your chance to catch the attention of the interviewer, so make sure to sell yourself well. Speak about your positive qualities, skills, experience, and accomplishments. The key here is preparedness: rehearse your commercial to make sure you include an introduction and your objectives as a potential employee. Identify and briefly explain your qualifications and attributes, and relate these qualities back to the job and company to which you are applying. This is your time to shine, so make a good impression.