Monday, July 5, 2010

Job Seekers! Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater!

All too often, job-seekers look at the process from a static, linear perspective: submit information, get the interview(s) and either get the job or not. While not getting the job is frustrating, how you handle losing the battle can actually result in you winning the war.

A huge part of the interview process is establishing rapport winning hearts and minds. If the job opportunity was not offered and interpreting the event as another door closing, change your perspective and look at the experience as another door opening. You have worked hard to make the new connections so why not capitalize on them? Here are some pointers on how to do it:

Step One: Write and sent an appropriate response to being rejected. Your letter should be simple, concise and professional. Your response should include the following:
  1. Tell the hiring manager, or whoever you spoke with in person, how you truly appreciate the time they took to interview you, and be sure to thank them for this.
  2. Tell this person that you hope you’ll be kept in mind for any future openings/positions that may arise.
  3. Wish their company the best of luck, and mention something positive that recently happened, i.e. a new acquisition, a rise in sales, etc. The ‘something’ that you mentions needs to show that you have a strong interest in the company and their continued success.

N.B. This post-rejection letter will get your name & written voice in front of them once again, which increases your chances of being remembered even more. The other reasons for taking the time to write this letter include the following:
  • You don’t know if the candidate that the company decided to hire chose to decline the company’s offer of employment.
  • If, after working at the company for a while, the hired candidate may have decided that the position wasn’t exactly what they wanted, and they may have quit, with or without notice.
  • The company, for whatever reason, may see that the hired candidate was not all they thought he/she would be, and let this person go.

Step Two: Ask for networking help. The companies with whom you have had interviews already know that you are looking for work, so why not ask them for networking help? If you have just impressed them enough to grant you multiple interviews, they should speak positively about you to their friends and colleagues.

Step Three: Keep in touch. Create a system to reach out to everyone you talk with throughout your job search. Searching for a job is no different from a sales campaign; the person who isn’t buying today may be ready to purchase (hire) tomorrow.

Step Four: Get to know the people with whom you have interview. This personal connection will get your calls, emails and requests answered quicker. At the very minimum, ask for permission that they be ‘connected’ to you via your Linked In profile

Step Five: Pay it forward. Find out what you can do for them. Helping someone first is the quickest way to endear you to him or her.