Earning

For the job jaded

Why thank you!

Hello my lovely readers, I bet you’re just starving for more career hints huh? Well, although this post applies to all areas of our lives, today a focus on ensuring you are memorable when in the job market. We’re talking the power of a ‘Thank You’.

Call me a nag, but while coaching my clients to build targeted personal branding, social media marketing and job search strategies to land their next job with speed, the one thing I tend to hammer home is the simple art of sending a ‘thank you’. Post network meeting, after an interview, in response to skills endorsements on LinkedIn, a network connection, a favour. ‘Thank you.’ So easy, so oft overlooked, yet oh so valuable.

You see, the human brain is programmed to compress experiences into three phases: The beginning, the peak and the end. In the case of a networking conversation or job interview, we tend to put more focus on creating a fabulous first impression, yet how we follow-up can play a critical role in how we’re remembered afterwards. In this era of e-communication, a thoughtful thank you note matters more than ever and costs us nothing but a couple of moments. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of a post-interview thank you.

Five steps to crafting the perfect thank you note…

Put it on paper

It’s easy to send a quick thank-you note via email right after you leave an interview or network chat however if your inbox is anything like mine, that email is apt to get lost in the pile of electronic communications, especially if it’s not urgent. Why not cut through that clutter by sending a small paper note? Writing on paper will also have the benefit of forcing you to be more thoughtful about what you’re writing.

Make it personal

A thank you note can be forgettable or memorable. Instead of a generic “thank you for your time,” why not tell the person what you specifically appreciated about your meeting. Were there particular qualities in the encounter that stood out in your mind? A moment that demonstrated why you would want to work there? Something you’d like the interviewer/networker to know you took away from the conversation? Assume others are also sending a thank you note, and personalise yours, so it stands out as unique. Oh! And if you’re sending more than one thank you note, take the extra time to make each one unique for we can easily sound disingenuous if our recipients compare notes and realise we took the easy way out and copied/pasted.

Be real but be neat

Writing out your note in longhand is a small window into your personality. Penmanship may be a dying art, therefore ensuring your writing is legible and neat will help put your best (type)face forward. I pride myself on my handwriting however when in a hurry, have been known to write in brail. Hurried chicken scratch writing won’t reflect well on you. Take care especially to make sure your signature is readable, so they know who sent the note.

Anyone you missed?

A thank you should not be reserved for the people with the loftiest titles. Who else helped you? A receptionist who worked on the meeting’s scheduling? Current employees with whom you privately chatted to get a sense of the workplace culture? Take a moment to thank these people as well. Such sweet gestures can often lead to these connections putting in a good word for you. Sometimes it’s people on the periphery that can make all the difference in a close decision. Case in point – the first person my old boss used to turn to for an opinion on someone he’d just interviewed was our Receptionist, followed by the Personal Assistants.

Still in doubt?

I recently read a debate between recruiters in a LinkedIn group where one had asked the question ‘What methodology do you use to help make the decision between two perfect candidates?’ The overwhelming response was ‘The first one who bothers to send me a thank you for the interview.’

Oh! And thank you for reading this post! Have any fabulous ‘thank you’ outcomes of your own to share? Why not drop them in the comments box?

 

 

Throwing shade on the tyranny of ‘always’

“Telling ourselves the story of “always + undesired outcome” wreaks havoc, not just on our ability to succeed, but on our lives. We begin to see failure and pain as a matter of fate. We stop believing a successful outcome is possible. That disbelief in possibility leads to inaction, which in turn seals the inevitability of our past becoming our future.” So says Jonathan Fields and he’s absolutely right. Have caught myself doing exactly that on more than one occasion and I bet you have too.

Wearing my career transition expert hat I often hear my candidates exclaiming ‘I always freeze in interviews’, ‘I always get rejected’, I always…(insert any number of negative job search fears) and no matter how much encouragement I invest in helping them reframe such statements, there are times when I realise they are simply mired in what Jonathan describes as ‘false negative absolutes’.

(more…)

The modern day rolodex? Uh huh!

LinkedIn – the Modern Day Rolodex. Least that’s how I see LinkedIn yet as a career management specialist, I’m oft surprised when my candidates oppose the idea of having a LinkedIn Profile. ‘I don’t want people invading my privacy‘; ‘stealing my personal information‘; ‘my ex stalking me‘; ‘people pestering me to connect‘; ‘no one I’d want to connect with‘; ‘I’m shy, I don’t like to put myself out there; I don’t have Facebook or Twitter – why would I want LinkedIn?

People will steal my personal information!

Common and valid (if obsolete) objections for let’s face it, who doesn’t balk at memories of James Murdoch arguing ignorance over News International’s phone tapping scandal, Julien Assange sharing hacked top secret dialog, Jennifer Lawrence finding her private photos splashed across the net? Of course we’re wary about our privacy. 

The thing is, security protocols on sites such as LinkedIn are well managed for the site’s reputation rides on its commitment to protecting its members; and the privacy settings within are readily accessible and in our own hands. 

What’s more our private lives are not on show here, we’re talking about the professional version of ourselves being visible – to clients, potential customers, head hunters, long lost friends, colleagues; and for those in the job market – recruiters. 

But I have business cards!

Sure, people can contact you via your business or v-card provided they have one, your company’s website may even showcase your Biography and yes, your colleagues already know where to find you. But what if your position suddenly became redundant? Would you want your ‘Personal Brand’ at the mercy of an obsolete business card or out of date Bio? Your specific knowledge and expertise subjected to a former client, customer or colleagues’ vague recollections? Look on LinkedIn as your modern day rolodex.

I don’t want people pestering me to connect!


Given 90% of people Google you before they meet you for the first time, 98% recruiters and head hunters use Social Media in general to find suitable talent, 97.3% use LinkedIn and 65% rely exclusively on the site alone* to find talent, you will want these people to find you. Preferably your well executed professional LinkedIn Profile showcasing said expertise. Not wanting people pestering you to connect? Get over it!

You calling me a Social media dinosaur?

With 380 million users globally, 7 million in Australia alone, 2 new members joining every second, those without a profile are already being viewed with suspicion. Technically disadvantaged? Something to hide? Don’t be ‘that’ social media dinosaur your younger colleagues scoff at. 

I don’t have Facebook or Twitter – why would I want LinkedIn?

Think of LinkedIn as your mini ‘Personal Brand’ marketing website. And it’s free! And once you’ve established your profile you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who will want to reach out, connect; even head hunt or job offer you. Dig into the many additional offerings LinkedIn provides and you will soon be wondering just what all that fuss was about!

Still need convincing? Check this out: Erik Qualman – Socialnomics 2015

Stay tuned for my hints and tips for building a profile that will stand out and set you apart from the masses. Once done we’ll then take your fresh new profile from the driveway to the freeway!

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* Bullhorn Reach Social Recruiting Activity Report

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