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Job HUNTING Etiquette: A Guide for the Job Seeker

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I've seen a PP re: job interview etiquette, but wanted to point out some additional etiquette rules for job hunters to keep in mind.  FWIW, I work in HR and have seen some examples of rudeness from applicants that were/are worthy of mention in the Special Snowflake Stories thread!

1.  Read the job posting carefully and follow the directions on how to apply.  For example, if a job posting says "No phone calls, please," that is exactly what is meant.  No phone calls.

2.  Apply only for jobs you are qualified for.  (Another reason to read the job posting carefully:  minimum qualifications for the position are often listed.)  HR departments get a lot of applications for every open position.  Every resume coming in has to be screened--sometimes by several people--to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the job.  Applicants who don't meet the requirements will not be interviewed. 

3.  Fill the application out completely and include all requested documentation, such as a cover letter, resume, and/or proof of education.  Incomplete documentation can give the impression that you have something to hide, especially when so many job seekers overstate or misrepresent their qualifications.

4.  Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job you're applying for.   Cover letters targeted to no employer in particular (or to the wrong employer) give the impression you are looking for just any job, and not the particular job you want. 

5.  If you are called for an interview, call the employer back ASAP to schedule it.   Interview time slots fill up fast--so if you don't call back promptly, you could miss your chance!  Failure to call back in a timely manner also gives the impression that you're not really interested in the job.

6.  Call or email if you'll be late for an interview or need to cancel or reschedule.  Emergencies happen--but a "no-call, no-show" shows a lack of respect for the employer's time and will eliminate you from further consideration for the job.

7.  Follow-up after the interview is long as it's not too aggressive.  Calling back a week later is fine; calling back every day for a week, not so much.  And pursuing HR or the hiring manager in their off time (e.g. following them into the store or the restaurant on their lunch hour or after work) to ask about the job is beyond the pale.

8.  If you didn't get the job, accept the employer's decision.  You're more likely to be considered for future job openings with the same employer if you take a rejection letter gracefully.

ETA:  Commentary on point #3, additional commentary on point #7... and the incident in #7 actually HAS happened at least once!  A job candidate followed me into a Safeway on my lunch hour to ask about the job.   :o

Good list.

I’d like to add a few more, FWIW.  These all should go without saying, but applicants often forget them.

An interview, even a “great” interview, is not a job offer.

It’s okay to ask when they expect to make a decision (if the information is not volunteered), but the standard answer of “next week, in a couple of weeks” should not be taken too literally.  The person interviewing you often doesn’t know when the decision will be made.  There is nothing you can do to hurry them up. Don’t “read” things into why you haven’t heard – that’s just needlessly torturing yourself.  If they want to extend an offer, they will be in touch with you (assuming they have your correct phone number/email).

Until you receive and accept a firm offer, keep looking.

9) Get a Baby Sitter No, it's not the job of other job seekers to watch your child while you are being interviewed. Nor is it the receptionists or other employees

10) Your Ride Should Wait In The Car Bringing other people with you does not look good, even if they are your way their.

11) Dress Appropriately Extremely low cut tops, or pants so baggy we see your undershorts, are not appropriate. A nice dress and a clean suit will do you well. No it's not "discrimination" to expect a bit of class.

How about

- don't badmouth your previous boss
- do some research into the company?

Library Dragon:
#3. Please research the company.  Yes, libraries have computers.  Know that!

Don't bad mouth the person you're replacing or a project you will be taking on.  The person who did our website left and I worked very hard correcting a lot of the problems (5 different fonts in 5 different colors on one page, checking how it looked on different monitor resolutions, etc.).  One interviewee went on a tangent about how bad our website was.  I was sitting there thinking, 'The old one or mine?' She could have talked positively about building usability features, but she chose negativity.

#11.  Appropriate dress includes your nails and hair.  You want to have blue hair that's great, just don't look like you are 6 weeks between dye jobs.  I don't care if you wear green nail polish, but nails should be neat and not leaving polish chips on the paperwork. (Two different people.)

#12. I'm glad you have a deeply spiritual life.  Do not spend the interview telling me how
a. You were led by the big purple deity to apply for this job, or
B. How every aspect of your new job will be imbued with your love for the big purple deity. 

When my husband was helping to interview for a new religious ed director at church he wanted to know about administrative ability, not prayer style.

#13. Don't be rude to the frontline staff! 


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