Part of your career development journey will be refining your interviewing and job hunting skills. But to do the former, you must first master the latter.
Finding the job is easy…getting a call back is harder. Here are 8 ways to make a unique impression on your job hunt.
Follow Up With a Thank You Note
Shooting your interviewee a thank you note is a surefire way to differentiate yourself from the pack. No one else is doing it, and it impresses upon the employer that you are a polite and serious candidate that values the employer’s time.
Thank you notes harken to a more traditional era, and being able to code-switch between contemporary and less contemporary means of communication could be an advantage in a number of slow moving industries.
Utilize Snail Mail
A great deal of business is done through the mail. During your interview process, engage with the postal service. Many businesses use the postal service as the lifeblood of their day-to-day operations. There is a certain antiquity to the traditional postage system that a lot of newer entrants to the workforce do not feel comfortable grappling with.
But as a younger working person, you need to go out of your way to demonstrate that you can interact with means of communication and doing business from all eras. After all, there is trillions of dollars worth of business happening over the postal system.
Show Mastery of Multiple Mediums
Just like showing off with your use of snail mail, sending your resume via one channel and following up with your interviewer (after an appropriate length of time) through another is a means of showing your versatility.
Just make sure you are not going overboard with how often you contact your potential employer!
Research Niche Details
Finding the tiny details that bosses tuck away in the messaging of their businesses truly delight businessowners. Branding is (or should be) a thoughtful process brand owners invest a ton of time into.
So regardless of the position you are taking, signaling to potential employers that you endorse and can communicate their messaging effectively immediately differentiates you from the rest of the pack. You will get extra bonus points if you bring up this niche fact of your own accord, but organically.
Recent graduates have some disadvantages: being fresh out of college and new in the workforce puts graduates in a position where they have less leverage than the people they are negotiating for employment with.
But they also have an immediate cultural touchpoint that all employers can tap into. Sports, extracurricular activities, research interests, clubs—these are all things that are universal to the college experience. Employers and hiring managers will know what to ask after, and this, in turn, will signal to you what sort of culture the company is asking you fit into.
Academics offers a wide swath of opportunity for exploring overlapping interests between interviewers and interviewees. After all, everyone has taken some variation of math, English, history, etc. at a college level.
Without boring your employer, who is bound to have heard it all, it’s all about balance. You should not launch into a diatribe about a subject your employer is clearly uninterested in, but you should also not allow the discussion to stray so far that you lose sight of the job.
Even if your interviewer begins to steer the conversation away from the position you are applying for, try your best to keep the topic of conversation pivoting back to the reasoning behind why you are a perfect fit for your interviewer’s team!
Similar to identifying with a company’s branding, a company’s culture is one touchpoint potential employees can tap into when trying to make a connection.
Some companies are perfectly fine with their accountants conducting business barefoot like greenhouses and trendier startups, while others like lawyers such as the Barnes firm staff, doctors, and professionals will be more apt to keep their clothes on and the focus on client service. The key is being honest with yourself about what standards you are able to meet on a regular basis. Think about your role in the workforce. What does it look like?
And of course, do not try to force fit yourself into a company culture which does not strike your fancy. If you can’t sell it to yourself, you will not be able to sell it to an employer!
Act as though you can do any job duty they ask of you…and know it is because you can! With some hard work and determination, you can, in fact, do anything. But reminding your interviewer of that is important.
However, you want to avoid coming off as haughty or over confident. After all, many employers will immediately be skeptical of your abilities as a young person. It is the unfair and unfortunate truth.
It essentially boils down to this: choose your words carefully, be honest about your abilities, and be even more confident that you can get things done: and you will get the job!