Job Search EtiquetteWritten by Scott Brown
For most people, word "etiquette" conjures up images of privileged wealthy people and esoteric rules of social behavior that have no real meaning. When it comes to business interactions and especially those relating to job searching, etiquette is an important component in coming across as a candidate worth considering. Business etiquette is not about being a snob: in fact, it's about *not* being a snob. It's about being considerate of other peoples' feelings and helping them feel comfortable with social aspects of interacting with you on a professional basis.
MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION
Part of having good etiquette is making a good impression. If your appearance is in good taste and not wildly different from employer's own manner of dress and style, they will feel much more comfortable with you. In a job search setting, your "appearance" really begins before you even meet person face-to-face. It begins with having a well-written cover letter and resume. You'd be surprised how many people have spelling and grammatical errors in their resume. Most word processing software, including Microsoft Word, includes a spelling and grammar check. The formatting of your resume should be neat and easy to read. Don't use lots of jargon or come across as condescending to reader.
E-MAIL AND PHONE ETIQUETTE
If employer gets past reading your resume and is still interested in you, one of two things will happen: they'll e-mail you or call you on phone. This is where you need to make sure experience this person has interacting with you by e-mail and/or phone is professional and pleasant. Don't use an unprofessional e-mail address like "email@example.com." You can get a free e-mail account from Hotmail.com or Yahoo.com if you need to. If you're using an email account that has a storage limit, make sure you check your messages often enough that a recruiter's email to you won't bounce back because your mailbox is full. If you might not be around to answer phone, make sure message on your answering machine sounds professional (and make sure answering machine works). Even better is to change message on your voice mail daily and when you go out so caller knows you are checking messages on a regular basis.
When corresponding with an employer by e-mail, rules of proper writing style apply. Don't write in all capital or all lower-case letters because this is improper writing style and comes across as lazy. Do attempt to create a warm and personal connection with person in your messages, while remaining professional at same time. The same goes for phone calls: when answering phone, it's important to sound warm and receptive -- even if you're busy with something else. When you get a voice mail from someone, call them back as soon as possible: even if it's just to let them know you're busy but you will get back to them with an answer as soon as you can. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Recruiters Prefer Someone They KnowWritten by Scott Brown
If a recruiter has a position open, guess who their first move is when they want to fill it. If you guessed posting a job on a job site, you're wrong (at least most of time). Recruiters are like any other human being and they want to get their work done with least amount of effort. So a recruiter's first move is usually to call (or email) someone they already know. Posting a job on a job site is time consuming and typically requires having to deal with a deluge of responses (most job ads yield 300+ candidates responding with their resumes). It's much easier for recruiter to try someone they know first.
Being Candidate Recruiter Calls First
In addition to hassle associated with posting a job on a job site, there is another downside to a recruiter using this approach: since they don't know people responding to a job posting, they have to take time to review resumes, talk to potential candidates, and try to get to a comfort level where they feel like they can recommend person to a client. If you already have a relationship with a recruiter, they're going to be much more comfortable recommending you than someone else.
Don't Let Relationship Die Out
Most job seekers, and frankly most recruiters, make mistake of letting their relationships die out. Recruiters get busy with new open positions that have to be filled. Job seekers get distracted by new jobs to respond to or calls from new recruiters. So time invested in getting to know each other often goes to waste. Does this mean you need to work hard at building a relationship with every recruiter you talk to? Not at all. Rather, you may notice as you go about your job search that certain recruiters seem to understand you and your strengths better than others. It is these recruiters who you want to stay in touch with.
Typically, recruiters you want to maintain a relationship with will have come to a good enough understanding of your background that they've submitted your resume for a position that you recognize is a very good fit for your background and interests. You may even have gone on an interview that recruiter has set up for you but it didn't work out for whatever reason. These are recruiters who you want to maintain relationships with. If they recommended you for a job in past, chances are they'd do it again in future. For simplicity, let's refer to these people as "High Probability Recruiters."