After the first date...(some professional advice, please)

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    Jun 10, 2010 5:45 PM GMT
    Okay, men, so here's the deal: after a damned lean year on the job market (it's tough down here in my field) and doing some things for money I'm really not so proud of (fast food, not sex...), I finally landed a telephone interview this week for a position in my field (academic administration)...and I want it, dammit.

    Trouble is, so do the other seventeen (most likely highly qualified) people they called for prelim interviews this week. I did the interview yesterday, and it went well. Seemed to click well with the guys doing the interview, gave strong answers to their questions, and was generally on top of my game.

    So here's the question: what next? I've emailed both gentlemen and thanked them for the interview and their consideration of my application, blah blah etc. Beyond that, what is professionally appropriate follow-up conduct? Is it unseemly to have my references give them a jingle?

    This is all new territory for me, having to 'fight' for a position...not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm pretty damned good at what I do, and previously all it's taken is a little smile and a flash of my resumé. This being such a tough market and all, I'm aware that it might take a little....extra...to stay on their radar. I've beaten out most likely several hundred other candidates to even warrant a piddly little phone interview, and I know the other top candidates are probably just as golden as I am.

    Any suggestions? Particularly from those in hiring positions or academic administration/university admissions? Any little tips for really standing out and making a sparkling impression?

    Many thanks, in advance. And yes, I'd totally unlock my private pictures in gratitude for your responses, but I have none.
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    Jun 10, 2010 5:51 PM GMT
    Just don't send them cookies with jizz icing.


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    Jun 10, 2010 5:51 PM GMT
    *glares at Emma standing with front paws on the keyboard*

    Bad girl!! It was the dog. I'll have to get her checked out for Muntington's Disorder. Strange because she's a girl dog....
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    Jun 10, 2010 5:53 PM GMT
    tell em youre too cute to be rejected
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    Jun 10, 2010 5:55 PM GMT
    zdrew said
    wawawa And yes, I'd totally unlock my private pictures in gratitude for your responses, but I have none.


    If any of you give him good advice I´ll open my private pictures for you instead.

    icon_rolleyes.gif



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    Jun 10, 2010 5:59 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    zdrew said
    wawawa And yes, I'd totally unlock my private pictures in gratitude for your responses, but I have none.


    If any of you give him good advice I´ll open my private pictures for you instead.

    icon_rolleyes.gif






    Oh hey, Lostboy what a good idea! We'll make some private pics of us and then when ...

    ....er, on second thought, no one will reply with our kind of an offer. Bad trips and a chance of chromosome damage.
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    Jun 10, 2010 6:00 PM GMT
    charlitos saidtell em youre too cute to be rejected


    LOL...considering I got a fairly strong gay vibe off one of the guys (the one who would actually be running the department), I'm wishing there were an appropriate way to say as much.
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:58 PM GMT
    I know you sent an email thank you, but you might also consider sending a snail mail thank you card. Hand write it old school style. It will set you apart for sure as few would think to do this. I know someone who got their job simply because of this (or so their employer told them later).
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:22 PM GMT
    just don't fake your death again anytime soon...icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:26 PM GMT
    zdrew said
    Any suggestions? Particularly from those in hiring positions or academic administration/university admissions? Any little tips for really standing out and making a sparkling impression?
    "You can talk yourself into a job; and you can talk yourself out of a job." -Former Employer
    In other words: You've already interviewed, and thanked them for the interview. Now it's time to sit back and wait. If you press too hard and make too much contact, you'll be seen as stalker-ish. That's a guaranteed no.
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:18 PM GMT
    Send a real short thank you note snail mail. I do a lot of interviewing and 9 out of 10 times, if the guy did well over the phone and sent a short note, he will come back...old school, but in the professional world it's still works. Give it a week and call them,,,,,Good Luck.
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:19 PM GMT
    RudeMech saidI know you sent an email thank you, but you might also consider sending a snail mail thank you card. Hand write it old school style. It will set you apart for sure as few would think to do this. I know someone who got their job simply because of this (or so their employer told them later).

    If you do send a thank you card keep it real short and simple and along the lines of the other suggestion, don't do much more.
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:26 PM GMT
    My company's been on a hiring boom lately and I and several colleagues have been the ones on the hiring teams, evaluating potential candidates for our group. Granted, we're in the biotech field, I feel it's the same process.

    If you feel that the interview went great, chances are it did. What I can tell you is that the interviewers are going to scrutinize everything about you, down to how they feel you will mesh with the group.

    With that in mind, the statutory e-mails you sent thanking them for their consideration is a great step. As several other RJ-ers here have pointed out, a simple hand-written card stating a "I know your time is valuable and I would just like to extend my gratitude at the opportunity to speak with you earlier" is a GREAT boon to your candidacy. Employers will remember this and the selection committee will have you firmly established in their list of likely hire-able candidates.

    Good luck and I hope you get it! For all our sakes (private pics, please, Lostboy!!)
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:32 PM GMT
    As a company owner, I agree with everyone on the hand written note. It is a lost art, but keep it SHORT. I also suggest you checking to see if you know anyone that knows your interviewer(s). Nothing says HIRE him like an outsiders recommendation.
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    Jun 10, 2010 11:15 PM GMT
    Suck the chrome off their trailer hitches.
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    Jun 10, 2010 11:28 PM GMT
    meninlove said *glares at Emma standing with front paws on the keyboard*

    Bad girl!! It was the dog. I'll have to get her checked out for Muntington's Disorder. Strange because she's a girl dog....


    Excuse me but I know for a fact you picked that dog up from Chucky icon_eek.gif

    Hmmmmmm.......ok maybe lostboy......damn hard to tell.

    BTW.....does she have private pics icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 11:33 PM GMT
    digdashdive saidAs a company owner, I agree with everyone on the hand written note. It is a lost art, but keep it SHORT. I also suggest you checking to see if you know anyone that knows your interviewer(s). Nothing says HIRE him like an outsiders recommendation.


    agreed, i got my last job because I sent a short hand written thank you card and someone that I knew also knew someone that worked there and called them with a recommendation. It works. Now if I just knew someone who works for some of the jobs I have applied for.........
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    Jun 11, 2010 12:07 AM GMT
    Mixed emotions on hand written note, nice gesture but old school and sometimes peeps don't read mail for days. But def. consider it. BUT, consider including some information below as an idea. Not simply "thanks for calling me and I'm really interested" but you may have to sell yourself better if you didn't on the phone already.

    While advice BEFORE the call would've been more helpful, the important thing is you got a phone interview already even if it's just a screen. The employment game's like sports playoffs, you go home if you don't stay in the game. So your goal is to keep them engaged of course.

    Find out if you don't already know, what the rest of the process is going to be like, ie when will they make cuts, to perhaps how many and when that's going to happen. Your goal is to make the next round of cuts and get an in-person interview. And construct your follow up plan and strategy, not simply send letters or emails. One has to build on the previous and what you're offering and can bring to the table to solve their problems.

    If you haven't already made the value-proposal to them, now's your shot.
    Did you make it clear why you want this job?
    Did you keep it focused all on their needs (not I have this and I have that but like a sales or marketing approach-- ALL about their needs, their problems, etc. and hwo you're uniquely qualified?
    Make it easy for the screener to go "wow, we need to talk to Zack again, let's get him in here".
    Did you learn anything about what they're looking for in the interview?
    Get more recon going on the department and what's going on for them? New systems? Lot's of turnover? What problems or goals do they really have?
    Contact people who have recently left - they're more likely to be candid about what's going on and what problems or goals they have-- and use that to your advantage in your follow up and hopefully in-person interview.
    Think into the role already. Is there something you could say or work on (sample designs, sample writing, sample forms etc.), anything that you could compose or put together that relates to the job and demonstrates critical thinking - what you can do for them-- to improve efficiency, satisfaction, etc. - whatever you know they want to get better at.
    What would you do to help them solve their problems and execute the responsibilities of the role?
    How can you go outside the role to help others when appropriate?

    Phone screens are hard to get your value propostion out esp if they control it and just want your answers but you have to be ready and try. And if you get the in-person then you have a better shot at show casing what you can do.

    Did you get the hiring manager's contact info? If not and it was just HR, try to get at that in case you don't pass the HR prescreen.

    Get testimonials/recommendations from a key contact- former boss, client, etc. Actual written letter is ideal so you have it for proof but share that on a resume, your online profile or in your thank you and follow up communications. Your cover letter and followup communicatiosn are sales letters. Ditch the "I's" and make them "You's". You will benefit from... Your goals of .... This way the reader doesn't have to figure out your value, you tell them what it is and have done the thinking for them.

    Include a "PS" at the bottom. PS's are ALWAYS read. This is where you boil down into 1 ro 2 sentences your value proposition that your main resume presented. Consider either 1 or 2 lines as either your best or most powerful relevant achievement in your past or a powerful testimonial exceprt such as from a former boss or client. A valuable testimonial has to be someone such as a peer or higher, or a former client - never below you. You want the reader to go, "Oh?!"

    Usually more for networking with a hiring manager with which you might have a future opportunity, but consider this idea. It's an example of guerilla thinking. Strategically unconventional. If you know the hiring manager's details, send your thank you follow up letter along with any materials you create or compose (see above) proving you're already working on the job, and an empty starbucks cup and a gift card for $5. You're asking for an in-person meeting, perhaps coffee before the day begins or at lunch, on you. Send it two day Fed Ex. Via the tracking # online, you will know when it's ben signed for/received. Call within an hr or two of delivery. "Hi John, I see you redceived my box today. If you'd like to take me up on the offer, when are you free?"

    Last word: Use social networking. Make sure you're on LinkedIn and Zoom info and make sure its clear, fresh and professional, those profiles are an electronic 'interview', they'll look at them for sure and see if it's congruent with your cover letter and resume. Go easy but consider a "professional" facebook profile too, sep. from a personal one and likewise, all business, no tagged pics at the bar or parties. Some peeps creat a personal website for professional job search reasons. These are ways to have marketing information about you that employers and recruiters can get more info about you without ever having to contact you but you get to get "more about you" to them passively.

    I got a lot of inspiration for more effective job searching from a recent free webinar called Guerilla Job Search - conventional or ordinary job search yields orrdinary results. If you're doing everthing that everyone else is doing, you're not going to shine.
  • Moishendlishu...

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    Jun 11, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    Another thing to think about is seeing if this particular company is on Linked-In and whether anyone in your network knows someone who works there or with them. Networking in this economy is kind of the golden ticket....and very little else works. Make sure to use your social network, follow their twitter or blog and see if you can ween any valuable information from there.

    The thank you card is also a great idea (one I will try)
    I would also recommend calling them in a couple of weeks to follow up on the process. You don't want to bug them or seem creepy, but they do need to know how excited you are for this position and that it isn't just another job to fill time until the economy gets better. It's an employers market so they need to know you are worth their time.

    Good luck, many of us are in a similar situation

    Lostboy you can unlock those pvt's now, and I shall do the same in return ;)
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    Jun 11, 2010 1:26 AM GMT
    ok, first of all, calm down....

    secondly, I say if over a week goes by and you have not heard anything, I would send a follow-up email to get the real deal.

    Be polite, professional and ask them perhaps the status of ur job application?? or something to that effect. . .

    U have to remember they may still be phone interviewing other candidates, so allow for at least a week
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    Jun 11, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
    Thanks, all. This is all fairly reaffirming...I've interviewed, I've done my best, and I've sent a brief email to say thank you, because that's made me stand and take notice when on the other side of the hiring coin. I'll send a snail-mail thank you, too, though it may not arrive before the preliminary interview round is complete (*scheduled* to be wrapped up Monday...) and sit back, forget about it, and see what happens. In the meantime I've got a billion other application packets to send off.

    Having never really had to 'fight' to get a job before, I just wanted to make sure there weren't any tactics I was missing.