With job search, as with life, it’s important to mind your P’s and Q’s. Good manners and proper etiquette go a long way toward helping you get hired. Or, at the very least, keep you from annoying people who might help you. Here are seven must-dos:
- Thank everyone, and thank often. Thank people who join your network, take the time to meet with you, give you advice by email or write recommendations. Really thank people who send you job possibilities. Showing gratitude is free, and priceless.
- Ask before name dropping. If a contact says you should talk with someone, say, “May I use your name?” Should you notice one of your contacts knows someone you would like to meet, ask politely for an introduction before going directly to the person and dropping your friend’s name. Besides being good manners, the introduction will have a greater impact than your cold outreach.
- Customize requests to join your LinkedIn network. Show you care enough to write a quick personal note instead of using LinkedIn’s default “join my network” requests. Refresh the other person’s memory about how they know you.
- Respect other people’s time. Begin phone conversations with “Is this a good time to talk?” Always be on time. Keep networking meetings to the allotted time.
- Do promised follow-up. If you said you would send someone contact information or research, or take an action on their behalf, do it. Model the prompt follow-up you would love others to be doing on your behalf.
- When being persistent, be positive and use a light touch. If you have been waiting for a follow up item for a while, or you’ve made a request but have not heard back, you may have to tactfully remind them. Do so in a very positive way. There is no need to point out their failure to follow through. Do not push too hard or set an unrealistic deadline. Nudge, don’t shove.
- Respect people’s decision, even when it means a “no”. Whether it’s asking someone to join your network, write a recommendation or make an introduction, respect the right of others to decline the request. If you’re put in the position of declining a request, be gentle and courteous. Do not leave people hanging. Getting a negative answer is often better than not knowing at all.
Coming up, good manners at networking events.
Tell us: What do you to do to show good manners during job search?