Friday, May 13, 2011

3 Steps to NOT Getting Hired

1. Send as your first introductory email one that asks "when can I come in for an interview?" without first expressing interest in the position by sending in a resume.

2. Failing to follow up with a 'thank you' or 'no thank you' email (or preferably written note).

3. Failing to respond to an email about a second interview but using your internet time to follow me on twitter instead.

In today's economy it is being said - and rightly so - that it's harder than ever to get a job. You know what it's easy to do? NOT get a job. I am in the process of interviewing and eventually hiring a new retoucher/assistant here at Alistair Tutton Photography, and let me tell you it's amazing how many applicants ignore the easy, little things that make the big impact. From the first introduction to the final job acceptance or even turning down a job it's the little things that are the huge differentiator between you and the 'other guy'. When making that first contact, don't assume they are going to interview you. You may feel you are 'God's gift to your chosen profession' but be humble enough initially to accept that you need to make an impression worthy of the call back for an interview. Sending someone an email with no resume or work samples and simply asking when you can interview not only rubs me the wrong way but strikes me as extremely ineffective. I want to know something about you besides your name before I decide you might be right for the position.

Once you do get the interview be sure to send some sort of follow up communication. I prefer the impression that a hand written, mailed note delivers but at the very least send an email thanking the person for their time and either expressing continued interest in the position or letting the person know that after meeting you don't feel that you'd be a good fit for the position. Everyone appreciates someone who saves them from wasting what little time we all have in a day. If after an interview you determine it's not the job you are looking for don't be afraid to send a note saying so. As an interviewer I am far more likely to hold no communication against you before I am communication that removes one more thing from my 'to-do' list. As the hirer I want to know that I should still consider you, that you are still interested and that you appreciate the time I gave you during the interview. An email of this kind would take less time than checking and reading your Facebook friend's status updates.

Once you have interviewed for a position and had more than one email communication about it during which time you continued to express interest in the job don't ignore emails from the potential employer. If you aren't interested, say so. If you are trapped under a large rock and cannot get to your computer to respond to email don't let me catch you updating your status on social media or sending me a notice that you are now following me on Twitter. I have trouble believing you are unable to return my email due to some catastrophic lack of WIFI when you are busy tweeting, facebooking and checking into every location on Foursquare. Think before you act.

Be respectful of other's time. Be attentive to communication. Be smart about providing what someone needs to understand your skills and experience. This ain't rocket science - unless of course you are a rocket scientist and then I take that back, Pay attention and DO sweat the small stuff, because these days it might be only the small stuff that sets you apart from your competition.

For all those who spent a moment to cross their t's and dot your i's you have my appreciation and for the final selected candidate know that you rose above the crop, by a lot for some. 

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