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Monday, June 8, 2009

Guest Post: Employers' View of Your Job Search

I am on travel for work in Portland, ME. I will try to take pictures and of course I will tell you how the trip went when I return.

To make up for my absence on Employment Monday, we have a guest post by Denise Felder. Denise is career advisor in Minnesota. She is also the editor of MnCareers. Minnesota's career, education, and job resource. You can follow her on Twitter: @DeniseMpls.

Here Denise offers us three situations that a job seeker may find themselves.

Completely baffled as to why employers are not calling you for interviews?

Clueless as to why you didn't get a job offer after acing an interview?

Putting yourself in the shoes of an employer might help you to discover some winning job search strategies.

The Job Seekers Point of View
"I interviewed and things went awesome! The manager was really friendly and the conversation went well. He hasn't called me yet for a second interview or job offer, but I'm sure he will."

The Employer's Point of View
"That candidate did not interview very well. My first impression comes from how a candidate is dressed. He flunked. He answered the interview questions OK, but he was dressed like he was hanging out with his friends. He's just not someone I want to represent my company or present to my clients. I doubt that I will call him back for another interview."

Moral of the Story
You can say all the right things in an interview, but if you are not dressed to impress, you will not get hired. Everyday someone messes up in an interview by not looking clean or professional, but it's rare for someone to get turned down at a professional-level job by looking too polished. Before you leave for an interview, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you look like someone who could represent a company to its customers or clients.

The Job Seekers Point of View
"A company called me yesterday and left a message. Hopefully it's to set up an interview. I called them twice yesterday, but the interviewer was not at his desk. I left another message this morning and will call again in a few hours. I bet the interviewer is impressed that I'm showing initiative and I'm really interested in getting an interview."

The Employer's Point of View
"I have four separate positions I'm currently setting up interviews for. For one position, I called eight people to do phone interviews before bringing them in for face-to-face interviews. This guy has called me four times in less than a day. He was one of my top candidates until he started phone stalking me. If he can't understand that I'm not waiting by the phone for his call and will call him back in a reasonable amount of time, than what will he be like when he works here? He has no courtesy or understanding of other people's work schedules."

Moral of the Story
Employers are busy people. When you get a call from an employer, call them back right away — and then wait. It is reasonable to wait two days to get a call back from an employer. It is not reasonable to wait only two hours. Don't let enthusiasm turn into pushiness or rude behavior. It's good to follow up with employers, but be respectful of their time. Employers want candidates who are courteous and can be team players.

The Job Seekers Point of View
"I've e-mailed several resumes to employers and have posted my resume on a few job Web sites. I've gotten a few e-mails from companies but no phone calls. It's frustrating that no employers are contacting me for interviews."

The Employer's Point of View
"When I post a position online, I get dozens of resumes within a few days. I first look through them and e-mail all qualified candidates more information about my company and the job. It takes too much time for me to call everyone, so based on who responds to my e-mail, that's who I bring in for an interview. This process helps me to know who is really interested in working for my company and which candidates just sent me their resume for the heck of it. It's amazing how many people choose not to interview with my company by not responding to my e-mail. The next time I have a job opening, I'll remember not to bother contacting those candidates again."

Moral of the Story
Job seekers who are serious about getting interviews and getting hired respond to every employer's e-mail and phone calls. Employers do not respond to every person who sends them a resume, so when they do call or e-mail you, a thank you and acknowledgement of their interest in expected (even if you are not interested in the position). Employers keep track of who they contact for which jobs and who does not respond to them. These are people they know not to contact in the future for other positions and not to recommend to other employers.


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