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Job hunting etiquette

Increase your chances of landing a great opportunity

1. Remember that first impressions count for a lot. In any market, just being able to do the job isn’t always enough. Potential employers will consider attitude and professional demeanor heavily when evaluating candidates and so it’s really important to get the etiquette right from the start.

2. Do your research. Find out as much as you can about the organisation before the interview. Using this information to help you prepare your cover letter and questions for the interview, demonstrates initiative and conveys your interest and enthusiasm in joining the company.

3. Remember the art of written communication. After an interview, promptly send a thank-you note thanking the interviewer for their time. It's a courteous, formal gesture that has a lasting impact. If you don’t get the job, you may well be remembered if another opportunity comes up.

4. Don't play the “cat and mouse” game with salary. If the job requirements have been outlined fully and you are asked to provide your expectations, it’s in your best interest to give an honest answer. While you don’t generally want to discuss salaries until you’re close to a job offer, being evasive can harm your credibility.

5. Do make the best first impression. Most businesses have a reception area and this is when many job seekers let their guard down. You may be evaluated just as much in the waiting area as in the interview itself. Make sure you are friendly anyone who may greet you before and after the interview.

6. Show respect for others’ time. Beyond being punctual for interviews and responding promptly to requests for references, this rule also covers timing issues once you receive an employment offer. If you're not prepared to give a yes or no answer immediately, thank your contact and promise a response within a few days.

7. Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Make time to get to know as many people in your industry as possible. Everyone you meet during a job search has the potential to make an impact on your professional growth. Any contact could become your next employer or a key networking resource.

8. Remember to listen actively during the interview. Even if you think it won’t be of interest you never know when something interesting will come up. And remember that what employers want these days are job-hunters who look like they'll fit in so take care over your interview attire and grooming.

9. Be bold and ask for feedback. If you are unsuccessful ask how you could have increased your chances as a candidate either from the interviewer, or if you applied through a recruitment consultancy through your consultant. This will give you pointers on things to work on in your next interview.

10. Don’t take rejection personally. An interview isn’t a popularity contest. Consider the fact that you often have to make decisions based on gut instinct and often it’s about having the right chemistry. So avoid the urge to feel slighted – no- one can be a perfect fit for every job.

If you would like further career advice from expert consultants who know your sector inside out, get in touch.

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