The job market these days presents unusual challenges for new talent entering the field. Jobs are scarce everywhere, and each job opening may receive applications from hundreds of talented candidates. Presenting a polished image to the interviewer can make an impression that causes you to stand out from the crowd of similarly qualified applicants. How to develop that image? Brush up on your business etiquette.
- Learn Names
Even before you get an interview, take the time to learn the name of the person who receives your cover letter and resume. Knowing names tells the recruiter that you care enough about the company to do your research and can help your resume stand out from the generic “Dear Sir.”
- Say Thanks.
Believe it or not, it’s a rare job candidate who takes the time to thank an interviewer. Thank you notes used to be common courtesy, but in these days of Tweets and Facebook shout-outs, a hand-written note has become a rarity. It’s still the right thing to do, however, and it will differentiate you from the crowd.
- Turn off the Phone
Not only is it rude to glance at text messages while you’re sitting in an interviewer’s office, but it may also raise questions in his mind about who you’re talking to. Is it a competitor? Another employer? Phone interactions can give the impression of competing interests, a sure deal breaker when it comes to landing the job.
- Keep Your Thoughts to Yourself
At least until you’re out of the building. Never discuss your interview as you’re walking down the hall or riding down in the elevator. You never know who might overhear you. Even if you’re the only one in the elevator, don’t pull out your phone until you’re out on the street.
- Think Twice Before Tweeting
It’s almost second nature for today’s generation to Tweet or post on Facebook about the important (and unimportant) things that happen in the course of the day. But sharing too much about your interview is a bad move. You can bet potential employees will be checking out your social media pages. And you can also bet they won’t want the details of confidential interviews displayed for the world to see.
Good etiquette can make the difference between candidates who get called back for second interviews and those who don’t. Put some effort into making a good impression. Potential employers care about professionalism and courtesy, even before you’ve signed a contract.