I have to admit, I fully expected to be back at work by now. Today I was listening to some music and “Why Not Me?” by The Judds came on. The song made me wish I could ask all the companies I have sent resumes to why not me? I am not sending out mass resumes, but I have sent out a good number of them and I can count on one hand the number that I have heard back on. Every day, I read articles on what to do and not do on your job search and depending on the article, I am doing everything right or I am doing everything wrong. Today I was given an article about “8 Secrets of Hiring Managers” by Alison Green of US News and World Report. It gives tips to job candidates to help end some of their frustrations. Got me thinking about my situation…..
1. You can ruin your chances by being too aggressive. Alison gives a variety of items that make a job seeker seem to aggressive, one of them being checking on the status of your application more than once within three weeks. What about communicating in the other direction? I have a couple of jobs I know I am qualified for, however the job is still listed several weeks after I applied. Not only did I not hear anything back about why I did not get an interview, I did not even get confirmation they even received my application! Moreover, with everything done online now, I am not even sure whom to contact. If I try to reapply, it will not let me. All I can hope is that the company really did get my application and that I did not mess up online application and all they are seeing is gibberish… if anything at all. Might explain why I am not hearing anything back!
2. We really want you to be honest. Not a problem here. Many people have advised me that I am too honest. As the article says, you need to let the interviewer get a glimpse of the real you. I think now more than ever, it is easy for people to find all sorts of information out about one another. As I stated in my icebreaker blog, I was shocked at what I found online about myself when I searched my name… and I am an average, everyday person who, until recently, pretty much shunned many online sites.
3. You don’t get to choose your references. Bring it on! I was pleasantly surprised at how much support I received when I started on this journey, most of it offered to me before I even had to ask. I would like to think that anybody you call is going to give me a glowing reference, but I know that it is probably not true. If truth be told, even if you call people not on my list, are you going to hear the real story? In this sue happy world, it seems that most people will talk me up if they liked me, but if they did not, all they will give you for a reference is my name, rank and dates of employment routine. I am sure that says a lot to you, but would you as a hiring manager give me a chance to explain my side of the story as to why a reference was not stellar?
4. No matter how positive things seem, you shouldn’t count on a job offer. Understood. But will you have the same courtesy to let me know why I did not get the job? About a week ago, I read an article about why hiring managers do not send out rejection letters. I’m a big girl. I can handle it. Just let me know that I was not selected and if you liked me that much, why not tell me what it was that made me not be the best candidate… not enough experience with a computer program, not enough education, not related to the CEO’s best friend? Would really help me know how to better prepare myself for the next interviews I have lined up. If you liked me that much, I know you would like to see me succeed.
5. The small details matter. I agree with this one. As a detail oriented person, I get so upset with myself when I find I have made a typo. I fully agree with Alison on sloppily written follow-ups. I do not care if it is a casual text to my sister, a Tweet, or a comment on a LinkedIn article, I always use proper language. Might age me, but it drives me crazy when people do not do the same. I will admit to using LOL or ROTFL occasionally, but that would be the only part of my message that is not proper. As for being nice to receptionists, that is a given. As a former receptionist, I know how much power they have and your first impression with the company is most likely with the receptionist. Being rude? Why sink your chances before you even meet your interviewer?!?!?
6. If you can’t produce references, most hiring managers will be wary. Did you not just say in number 3 that it does not matter who I turn in for a reference, you are going to call whomever you like? That aside, I have several references online already and dozens more available.
7. Wondering how to stand out? Use your cover letter. I usually spend several hours customizing my cover letter and/or resume for each job. Most of the time is spent with the cover letter. As stated above, if I never hear back from the person I submitted my application to, I cannot tell you why I did not make an impression with you. Was the cover letter too wordy? Little too over the top?? Too stiff or not professional enough???
8. Your personality matters a lot. I just hope you can see through my interview personality as that is not the real me. I feel comfortable talking and working with people from CEO’s to janitors, I just do NOT do well during interviews. I am very shy, but once I get to know you, I am a lot of fun to be around. Honest! I am working on improving my interviewing skills, but I have a feeling I still will not come across very well.
So, what did I learn from this article? Not much at this point. I will go back and reread it once I do start interviewing, but until that point, not much here to help me. If you are reading this blog because you considered me for a job, but I did not get it, I would really appreciate it if you could drop me a line and let me know….. why not me? I promise to not sue!!!