7 Etiquette Essentials for Every Stage of the Job Search
There are many unspoken and unwritten job searching rules that, if mastered, can enhance your chances of obtaining a coveted job offer. By practicing these seven etiquette essentials, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself from other job seekers.
1. Job Fair
Before a job fair, obtain a list of companies who are scheduled to attend and conduct some research. Find a few nuggets of information that can help you demonstrate your knowledge of their firm. Keep in mind, it is never a good idea to go up to an employer and ask, “what does your company do?” A question like that might keep you from moving forward in the interviewing process.
2. Information Interviews
These interviews are designed for you to learn more about a person, position, or function of a company. Respect the interviewer’s time by clearly articulating your pitch and preparing any questions you have prior to the interviewing time. To encourage an employer’s follow up, send an email thanking them for their time.
3. Job Interview
Be prepared and arrive on time. Research the firm in greater depth and have any questions prepared ahead of time, ready to go. When asked the question, “Tell me about yourself,” be mindful of the interviewer’s time. Ensure your elevator pitch is clear and concise to set a respectful tone for the interview. Also, send a thank you email reinforcing your gratitude and desire for the position.
4. Accepting an Offer
Once an offer has been extended, show your appreciation and ask for time to consider it. Once you verbally accept the offer, cease all other recruiting and interviewing functions.
5. Declining an Offer
Start by thanking the employer for the opportunity to interview and expressing how difficult a decision this was for you, but in the end, you are deciding to decline their offer. Ask to stay in touch over the next couple of months and follow up with the employer 30, 60, or 90 days out. You never know when you may need to reach out to a previous company contact.
6. Handling Rejection
The natural instinct is to feel angry or discouraged, but there is a better option. If you had interviewed and were not extended an offer, perhaps you were their second choice. Start over by showing appreciation, humility, and gratitude by thanking the employer for the opportunity to interview. Ask if it would be okay to follow up in the near future. Perhaps the position becomes available again or another department is hiring. It is always in your best interest to follow up and stay in touch.
7. Practice Reciprocity
Help others who helped you. Chances are, you will switch jobs or career every few years. During this period, there will be numerous people asking you for help hoping to reach their own career goals. Allocate your time and give freely to these individuals in need.