I believe there are many universal truths:
- Wash your car and it will rain that day.
- The cat will leave you a freshly hacked hairball right inside the door where you feel it before you see it
- Polish the floor in one room and that is the room the dog picks to display puppy prints after finding a mud puddle on a desert dry day
- Be prepared for a meeting and it will be cancelled
- Forget something for a meeting and it will be the only thing discussed
- Wearing white and eating spaghetti is a dangerous combination
- Kids can sniff out if you have actual cash in your wallet
- Look amazing and you won’t see a single person you know if you go out
- Roll out of bed looking like death warmed over and you will see everyone you know
- Drop $50 in a slot machine win nothing, the guy behind you puts in a quarter and hits big
- Job searching stinks
Except for that last one, most people can laugh off or at least shrug off. But job searching, that is a completely different story.
The agony of putting yourself out there day in and day out only to be rejected by nameless, faceless people – if you even hear back at all. Not knowing why. Feeling insignificant, invisible or unworthy. It is not fun.
It may come to a point where you decide desperate times call for desperate measures. Before you cross that line, please wait.
There is a fine line between unique and crazy. You want people to notice you and remember you; however, you want them to do these things for the right reasons.
If you are planning a shtick, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself:
- Who is my audience?
- How will they interpret this?
- What is my intent?
- What is the worst way they could interpret this?
Knowing your audience is very important. For example, a friend of mine owns her own business and had a job opening. One candidate had a freshly cut, beautiful live Christmas tree delivered along with chocolate and his resume. An office of mostly women were good with the chocolate; however, my friend is Jewish and there was no space whatsoever for a huge, live Christmas tree in the office.
The type of job and company should give clues to the type of environment. For example, there was a woman who was applying for a higher level position in a law firm. One might naturally assume that the environment was conservative, especially after interviewing with them.
So sending a box of pastries as a follow up is not a bad idea, but the poem describing why you want to work there going so far as to rhyme with the name of the company was way over the top – and eliminated her as a candidate.
Shticks are not always good, they may have the right intention, but the perception is not at all what is intended. Clever play on words only lasts for so long – about a millisecond.
Receiving a box containing a shoe with a resume crammed in it topped with a note saying, “I’m the perfect fit” goes from clever to eww in less than a second. Who wants to extract a resume from a shoe? Let’s hope it was a brand new shoe.
Following up does not necessarily mean that it will speed up communication; however, it will keep you more in mind of the interviewer.
Assuming that you have asked about next steps at the end of your interview, some simple, professional steps to take in following up include:
- A thank you note. This is a must. Reiterate the positives from the interview, as well as your interest in the position
- Connecting on LinkedIn
- An email the following week, this can be a simple note checking in to see if there is anything else they need from you in consideration for the position (rather than “when will you make a decision?”)
- Sending an industry related article
Keep it light, short and business related and remember, filling this position is not their only job and perhaps not their number one priority. It can take time. Be patient, be professional and please, be shticky with your friends, not potential employers.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.