In the throes of a job search it is easy and tempting to forget the little details that can mean the difference between further consideration or not:
Send thank you letters. These should be personalized, so get the proper name and title of everyone you meet – collect business cards with each interview for this reason. You should write a follow up thank you to everyone you meet, not just the most senior person or the person with whom you had the best rapport. This is your professional face forward so be sure to write an engaging and thoughtful response, and of course, to check grammar and spelling.
Return calls in a timely manner. Same day is ideal and no longer than next business day is acceptable. If you are going to be away longer than that, leave some indication on your outgoing voicemail. If you don’t want to leave vacation plans on a home machine, direct callers to a number where you can be reached if it’s urgent. (If you decide to take cell phone calls on vacation, make sure you can be professional on the call. Otherwise you’re better off letting it go to voicemail.)
Respond to requests for additional info in a timely manner. If they ask for references, be prepared with a list that includes titles and contact info. If they ask for a writing sample, forward one within the timeframe requested. Keeping the hiring employer waiting shows a lack of interest or diligence or both. If you suggest an article the interviewer should read, forward a copy or the hyperlink. Make it easy for them to hire you.
Be punctual in all meetings. Leave extra time to get through the building reception, especially in this era of heightened security. Leave extra time to fill out any paperwork at the HR reception area. Leave extra time to get lost, for train delays, for traffic, for extra breaths outside the building.
Send indirect thank you letters. Thank everyone who gave you a lead, advice, any ounce of help. Let them know exactly what happened as a result of their gift to you. Let them know what happened at the end of your search. Even if they didn’t give you the lead that led to your ultimate job, they helped move you forward and therefore deserve to hear from you.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com).