“I waited”

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Ask the Job Doc. –Boston.com

Q:  About a month ago, I had a good interview with a company downtown.  I took a whole Friday off for the interview.  I left there thinking an offer would be on the way.  I waited but didn’t hear anything.  About a week later, I followed up with an email to the talent acquisition representative.  A few days later, she replied that another candidate was hired who “seemed to want the job more than I did.”  I am so disappointed.  I wanted that job.  What do you think happened?  I thought I did everything right.

A: Thank you for submitting your question.  When I read your question, there was a single moment when I cringed.  When was that moment?  I read two words: “I waited.”  I am sorry to be harsh but I think that is what may have changed the course for you.  Don’t wait!  Don’t ever wait if you think this is the ideal role for you.  I hear from some candidates, “I didn’t want to seem desperate.” Or “I wanted to play ‘hard to get’ with them.” I think that is a mistake.  I think your actions need to match your interest level.  If you are interested in a job, I would not email a thank-you note from my phone in the elevator on the way out.  What I would do though is to compose a neat, grammatically correct thank-you email that afternoon or evening and email it within a day.  Not a business day, but within the day.

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Many of us work in environments where we are accessing emails after hours.  Job seekers should too.  I know some job seekers will grimace at this suggestion, but this is the reality of smart phones and technology.

You bring up my number one frustration with candidates.  Unresponsiveness.  I understand that job seekers feel this too.  I have heard a thousand times from job seekers that they submit a resume and never hear back.  I understand that frustration.  I am not excusing it but, now with technology, it is much easier to submit a resume.  Sometimes we have 10 jobs posted and we get the same resume for all 10!  I call them perpetual posters.  There are some job seekers who use the strategy of “apply to everything and see what might stick.”  I don’t think that is an effective strategy.  However, when I reach out to a candidate, and it may be on a weekend, I do expect a response within 24 hours.  It demonstrates interest!  If you have a serious interest in a role, send a thank-you email quickly.  Follow up the next week.  Behave in a way that demonstrates you are enthusiastic and excited about the role!

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