When it comes to job hunting, manners still matter

envelope and note


I’ve been a “professional” for a few months now so I figure I’m in a place to offer professional advice, right?

Probably not.

But will you listen anyway?

During my 6-month, intensive job search (which you can read about in all its ridiculousness here), I think I all but perfected the job-hunting form. There were the introductions, the applications. Then came the follow-ups, the interviews, the finger-crossing. It was a grueling process that took as much as 30 minutes out of any given day. It was brutal!

The one thing I took away from the experience that I think everyone should know? It takes a lot of hard work and effort. No, not really–It takes a hell of a lot of charm.

Sure, my resume was important. But it made a difference that I had a strong handshake and a warm smile. And I thanked people. God, I thanked people! I know now how that has the power to win people over, to make them give you things.

It’s weird being on the other side. Watching people, judging them. But they deserve it. They want something, and they can make me give it to them if they play their cards right. They never do.

Cool, limp hands awkwardly find my grip as over-confident eyes give it all away. Eyes glaze over at my conversation and emails go unanswered for days. And they never say it. “Thank you” is not part of their vernacular. They’re screwed.

But you’re not. You’re warm, genuine, considerate. Am I right? Have I captured you? Then please (and thank you) take the extra step to show that to anyone standing between you and your next dream job.

A few pointers:

1. Thank people for their time. Be sure they hear the words “thank you” and “I appreciate” at least once in every conversation you have with them.

2. Actually value people’s time. Don’t be late, respond when you say you will, and don’t give them the chance to be the first to follow up.

3. Remember, minding your manners is more than just one more thing you have to worry about when job hunting. It’s an opportunity for you to make a lasting impression that just might give you a leg up on someone with a stronger resume!

And a last word of advice–if you send out thank you cards, mail them all in one larger envelope. I learned the hard way that sometimes traditional mail isn’t completely reliable. The last thing you need is one person feeling so slighted they take you out of the running!

profileAmanda Cripps is a writer and marketing professional taking one day at a time in the NH Seacoast. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaCripps

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