In a world where stressed out and boorish job candidates are the norm, you can really stand out as a job candidate by exhibiting classy behavior. Here are some ways to prove that your mama raised you well.
- Write a gracious thank you letter even when you don’t get the job. Going through a long interview process and then finding out you weren’t selected can be discouraging. Many candidates react with bitterness, at least privately. (I have actually received nasty emails from candidates who weren’t hired. Gratifying to have my choice confirmed so early in the process.) Writing gracious letter or calling to thank the interviewer for considering you will position you as a missed opportunity, maybe worth another look. Candidates using this technique have been offered other positions in the company or even a second chance at the job if the new hire doesn’t work out. You may start a relationship with the recruiter, increasing the odds that you’ll get another look when a new job opens up.
- Send notes of congratulations when you see news about promotions or hires. If you’re keeping up with news or social networking sites like LinkedIn, you’ll see information on new contracts, promotions, hires or board appointments. It takes just a few minutes to send an email with a link to the story or a personal note with the clipping. Congratulate them on their success and offer to help with future projects. It can also be a great “soft” reminder that you’re still in the market and would welcome referrals: “I look forward to a successful conclusion to my current job search as well.”
- Offer your services to a good cause. Volunteering is a great way to expand your network and fill gaps in your experience while you’re out of work. Offering your skills for a good cause is a great way to give back to the community – something you might not have had time to do while working full time. When asked about current activities in an interview, you’ll be able to talk about this layoff as a chance to help others, instead of sounding bitter and bored.