Job Seeker Etiquette Tips

From the moment you express interest in a position with a business or with a talent agent you are being assessed.  Everything you say and do will make an impact consciously and sub consciously on the person you engage with so here are some tips to help you make the best impression possible.

Personalise Your Cover Letter
Try and avoid the Sir/Madame address by doing your best to find out the name of the person you are addressing.  If you are unable to do this you can drop the salutation all together and simply reference the job or you can use a gender-neutral address such as Dear Retail Manager. 

Personalise the content of your letter to the job you are applying for.  It is surprising how many people have used their last cover letter which refers to an unrelated job.  This is an instant “put off” as it indicates laziness, lack of attention to detail and it makes your application appear insincere. It is very likely that the recruiter will not even look at your resume in this instance.

Keep Your Email Address Professional
Its ok to have a quirky or funny email address for your personal use but these are not well received when you are making an application for a vacancy.  Setup a more professional address for the purpose of job applications if need be.

Referees’ Permission
Let your Referees know that you are applying for positions and are they happy to be identified on your Resume and/or have their details provided to the recruiter.  It is polite to do so and it will help you assess if they will help or hinder your application.

Keep Your Online Presence Clean
It is common practice for a recruiter to background check your social media presence.  Google your name and review the content and remove anything that may be harmful to your application.

Grooming and Attire
Personal hygiene is of paramount importance and your attire should reflect the position you are applying to.  Consider whether you should be dressed in a traditional corporate manner or if smart casual is more suitable.  Check small details like clean fingernails, tidy facial hair.

Be Prepared for Your Interview
Respect the interview process by reviewing your Resume and considering what questions you may be asked and prepare your responses.  Refer to my previous article 50 Most Common Interview Questions. Search the business online and learn about them. This will help you gauge if they are a business you truly want to work for and it will likely assist you with some of the interview questions.

Be on Time
Respect the interviewers time and be on time.  I recommend arriving 5-10 minutes early. Getting stuck in traffic is not a reasonable excuse for being late.  If you fear that traffic may be an issue prepare for that and wait in your car or at a nearby coffee shop if you are very early.

Beware of Body Language
Your body language can positively and negatively affect the interviewer’s perception of you.  Keep eye contact and be fully engaged with the interviewer.  Avoid fidgeting, crossing your arms and playing with your hair.  

Turn it Off
Turn your mobile phone off.  Putting it on silent/vibrate is not enough as the interviewer will pick up on your slightest distraction.

Thank You
If the interviewer hasn’t already offered you a business card, request one at the end of the interview.  This will give you their email address so you can send a Thank You note.  A simple email after the interview thanking them for their time and reconfirming your interest in the position will be well received and it will help you stand out from the crowd.