It’s a New Year, a New You and time for a New Job? For many people including side hustle entrepreneurs this is the busiest time of the year that people are looking to leave their current positions and find a new and improved one.
Just like Gyms that will be flooded for 2 weeks with anxious resolutionary’s (yes, I know that’s not a word) Recruiters and Hiring Managers inboxes will be flooded with resumes. In fact, a study by Spherion Staffing says that 60% of workers plan to take big steps in their careers and some of those steps include finding a new job. It is one of the most popular resolutions, right up there with hitting the gym.
So, if you are one of those people who have “finding a new job” on your vision board, there are some do’s and don’ts you should know to ensure you land that new job in 2017.
Before I get into the do’s and don’ts let me just start by saying, I’ve interviewed thousands of people in the last 15 years of my career in Corporate America and trust me when I say, First Impressions Matter!
And let me just tell you, I have seen it all! Let’s start with the “Don’t” list…
- Don’t not have a professional email address, there’s no excuse, they’re free. Bigbootyjudy@bmail.co is just not okay.
- If you are actively looking for a job, keep your social media accounts private, employers do look and nobody wants to see you getting lit the night before your interview.
- Change your ring back tone, most employers (myself excluded) don’t want to hear gangsta rap while waiting to leave you a message.
- Make sure you pay your cell phone bill. If your phone is temporarily disconnected or you do not have a voice mail set up, we’re moving on to the next qualified resume and you lost your shot of scheduling that interview.
- Turn your cell phone off or on silence during the interview. In fact, leave it in your car if you can. I’ve seen numerous times where someone thought they silenced it and it rang or it was still on vibrate shaking the entire conference table. I’ve also seen people answer the phone right in the middle of the interview. Smh.
- Do not call to say you are sick and want to know if you can reschedule your interview. If you can’t even show up to an interview, how are you going to get through work when you’re sick? Most employers have a 90 day probationary period where they expect perfect attendance.
- Do not tell your whole life story in the interview. Only answer the questions that are asked of you. We don’t care that you have a rash and an ingrown toe nail that you have to have surgically removed. TMI.
- When asked where you see yourself 1 year from now. Do not respond with “opening my own business” (keep your side hustle to yourself) and don’t say, “on the beach sipping on Mai Tais” or doing something that is not directly related to the position you are applying for.
- Do not wear jeans to an interview. Ever.
- Do not ask what the pay is. This should be volunteered by the interviewer or should be discussed in a second interview.
- Have a professionally written resume. Check for grammar and spelling. Try not to have it longer than 2 pages.
- Show up 10 min early to your interview, professionally dressed with a smile on your face.
- Take a pen, a notebook and several copies of your resume (even if you’ve already emailed it) with you to the interview and take notes about the position and company.
- Do research on the company before your interview. Be sure to look at their website.
- Ask at least 2 or more questions about the company, the position, their goals, etc. Good questions to ask… why is this position open? What is their turnover rate? How long has this department been open? What are their goals for this department or position in the next 2 years? Is the company profitable? What does growth opportunity look like? Do they provide training? What does a typical day look like in this position?
In my opinion, if you are leaving a position for another you need to make sure that the company is stable and that it is a good fit and a good decision for you. As a Hiring Manager I always respected anyone who would interview me as much as I was interviewing them. It showed me they cared about their career and the company they work for.
Now, there are some hiring managers out there who let their ego’s drive the interview that may not appreciate many questions. You will need to gauge this for yourself during the interview and see if there is a segue for you to ask questions.
- Have good eye contact, a firm hand shake and show interest in what is being said during the interview.
- Always wrap up by saying thank you for your time and another handshake. If they did not indicate what the next steps would be, then ask them what you can expect next?
- Send a handwritten Thank You card or note. Personally, if I interviewed 2 people who were equally qualified for the position and I equally enjoyed their personality, I would hire the one who sent a written Thank You card over the one who didn’t send anything or just sent a thank you email.
The job market is extremely competitive and there are hundreds of people applying for the same position especially this time of year, so these small things really do matter.
Always do your best to make a great impression when looking for employment or starting a new job. Even if you don’t get the job, you never know who they may refer you to or they may even hire you later down the line. I’ve made many of my hires this way or referred someone I was impressed with but wasn’t qualified for my open position, to another company that I network with that I knew was hiring.
BTW- the “don’ts” are true stories.
Are you looking for a new career? We would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what kind of position you are looking for.