Long lost etiquette
Having spent much of my career in recruitment and career coaching, I’ve watched over a few decades now how etiquette appears to be slipping away. The most basic respect and appreciation, you know that stuff your parents taught you? Remember you’re pleases and thank you’s, elbows off the table and one of my favourites; ‘pull your socks up’.
Privileged or Entitled
So what happened? Why are we defiant as a human race today? So determined to go against the grain, remain self-absorbed and rebellious. Are some of us simply unaware that ‘manners’ or ‘etiquette’ is a thing? How have we forgotten that having a job is a privilege? Learning from others is a privilege. Mentors, often extremely busy due to their own success, help us out of the goodness of their own heart.
If you let your ego lead the way and think you are entitled to get a job, then chances are, the application and interview process won’t go as well as you expect it to. Employers and Interviewers pick up on energy, even if they don’t realise it.
Here are TEN simple things you can do to help with your job search success?
- Write a purposeful cover letter and be sure to address it correctly – there were more times than I’d like to recall that I received a cover letter addressed to someone else or even, goodness gracious, applying for another job. Take the time to write a cover letter specific to the job you are applying for. You will be noticed.
- Keep your personal email address professional – think about how your email address will impact on your image. It might be fun to have it informal or wacky so your friends remember it and have a laugh, but remember, first impressions count.
- Create a professional voicemail message – Oh I’ve had a few laughs with this one, but again, think about how your voicemail message will impact on your image. This is particularly relevant if you are applying for a customer service or client facing position. Be sure to have a professional friend listen to your message if you are unsure of how it will be heard.
- Answer your phone professionally – you never know when the potential employer is going to call. Answer your phone politely and professionally and be aware that the moment you are on the phone to a potential employer or recruiter, you are quite possibly being taken through what is called a ‘Telephone Interview’. Answer questions mindfully.
- Don’t use work contact information – what message are you putting out there if you do? Employers will not look favourably on someone who blatantly abuses the privilege of work resources for personal matters.
- If you are applying for work in another city or overseas, be sure to explain why you are considering a move – the amount of times I received applications from overseas or out of town with no mention of why they were applying for work in my location astounded me. It’s the first question a potential employer will ask.
- Dress appropriately for the interview – if you do in fact secure an interview and don’t know what the dress standard is within a company, dress up rather than down. One cold winters day I had a candidate who had applied for a graduate position turn up in his woolly hat, sweatshirt and jeans. He laughed when I suggested he dress in a more professional manner for his next interview. Wear clean pressed clothes, avoid heavy perfume or aftershave, polish your shoes, and keep accessories to a minimum. You do not want to distract the employer with your flashy pink purse, heavy make-up, or loud tie.
- Prepare fully for every job interview – show up organised. If you stumble through every interview question, your potential employer or recruiter may think you are wasting their time. Take the interview process seriously and spent 15-20 minutes before each interview reviewing your own CV. Prepare a few career stories to share, ideally where you have learnt a valuable lesson.
- Send a thank you note after the interview – Gratitude is a premium quality and a simple thank you goes a long way.
- Think about your brand and GOOGLE search yourself – Career searching today is very different to what it was several decades ago, even one decade ago. The general population use social media consistently and employers and recruiters make it no secret that they will go online and check you out. Why wouldn’t they, the information is public and out there for all to see. So, what will they find out about you?
Do one thing differently
If you take one thing from this list that you have not been doing, and start to do it today, the difference may astound you.
Personal Branding has been trending for a number of years now so be sure to get on board with this and decide how you would like to be presented.
Oh and do remember your P’s and Q’s. This simple step will get you noticed!
Good luck in your job searching.