I’ll be one of the first to admit it, searching for a new job is not an enjoyable process. Not only do I know this from speaking with people on a daily basis about it, but I have also had my fair share of visits to indeed.com the past year and a half as well (3 jobs in Nashville since March 2010). The good news about my expertise in hiring and firing is that hopefully I can help shine some new light on your search through some simple ABC’s – Attitude, Blogging, and Checking in.
Let’s face it, searching for a job, when done properly is a full time job in and of itself. Constant emails, applications, meetings, coffees, phone calls, and networking events. It seems like a never ending circle which often times produces little to no results. True, the results aren’t always immediate and can be somewhat disheartening. We find an ad that looks like a great match and come to find out the position is already filled. Back to the drawing board! These feel like little failures, but being without a job already puts us down and then it just feels like you are being kicked while you are down.
Norman Vincent Peale once said “life for most of us contains many tough and difficult problems; we need all the confidence and reassurance we can get. Nothing builds confidence and reassurance like a word of praise. Nothing restores our self-esteem and recharges our batteries like a little admiration.” When we are in our work environment, we have others who are in the trenches with us. We can reach out to them, they can encourage us. When we are out on our own in job search town, who do we have? Few cheerleaders helping us along the way.
Attitude plays an extremely vital role in ones job search. For people in sales, rejection is common, but it can still sting when going on that second month without a job. The secret is the daily habits that we form. The more you treat your job search like you did when punching the clock, the more you will be able to stay focused and maintain a positive mental attitude. Believe me, it comes across in all that you do and people notice it.
One way to help stay on track is to write a blog. You may or may not already do this and you may or may not have any clue on how to get started. The great thing is that it doesn’t even matter because you can change it up as you go. I put off writing this blog for months until a few weeks ago I decided to just jump right in. I hope the content is improving week by week, but who knows! The point is, I am here showing my expertise and sharing my knowledge about job searching, career tips, recruiting, hiring, etc. Writing a blog will help in showing you are an expert in your given field, build your online presence and show that you aren’t just sitting on your hands all day. If you are still trying to get over the hurdle of writing or not, just remember that action cures fear. Set it up and go for it! Even if it is just strings of ideas, that is better than nothing and at least you are getting started.
Speaking of online presence, I won’t go into many details in this post, but if you haven’t started to build your online presence yet and you are looking for a new opportunity then you should skip the blog and go straight to LinkedIn.com and create a profile. Right now. Seriously, stop reading this and go create it!
OK, now that you have your shiny LinkedIn profile, your blog, and your great attitude, you actually get a job interview. What do you do? You’ve been in a slump and then out of nowhere you feel saved! First of all, it’s not out of nowhere. You have been putting in countless hours and things are starting to pay off! So you get an interview, you prepare and do everything you are supposed to. You feel like it goes well and you get home and are certain you are going to be the one they hire. Write a thank you note to every person you met and let them know you appreciate their time and enjoyed learning about their great company. Then what? The waiting game begins, that’s what.
I am often asked, “Adam, how long should I wait to follow up or check in? I really am interested in the job, but I don’t want to be pushy. If I wait too long, maybe they won’t think I am interested.” This can be a difficult situation, but it doesn’t really need to be. As long as you remember to send an email after interviewing, that shows you are appreciative and do have at least some interest. If you are working with a recruiter, they will let you know as soon as they know, trust me. Try to remember the more people involved in the interview, chances are the longer it will take. If you just met with a hiring manger and maybe the team lead, they can discuss you and other candidates if in the mix and probably make a decision fairly quickly. If it is a whole team and they will all have input and then they need to let the corporate recruiter know and then she needs to let your recruiter know, it’s going to take a little longer. All that being said, checking in is still a great idea as long as you aren’t doing it morning, noon, and night. After the initial email, give it 3-4 days so everyone has a chance to give feedback. If by the 5th business day you still don’t have any feedback, checking with the recruiter is ok. If this interview is independent of a recruiter, maybe a short email to the person you had the most contact with saying you just wanted to check in and let them know you are very interested in learning what the next steps will be. It doesn’t need to be long and elaborate, just enough to give a subtle push to show you truly are interested and not just testing the waters or sending emails because that is what you are supposed to do. Sometimes the hiring manager really is that busy and is just having a difficult time getting around to doing all of the necessary steps in order to extend an offer. Just have a good attitude about it, write in your blog how great the company is and check back in again after another week or so and continue to do so until you are hired there or somewhere else!
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any questions? Please let me know in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!