Executive job-seekers, in the spirit of helping you get a job you want even quicker, let’s hit the major mistakes head-on. On the positive side, there are so many job search tips available to you, both on my site and many others. However, sometimes, seeing yourself in the mirror of major barriers can help you more.
Executives, while you may be doing well in the departments of submitting resumes, networking, and interviewing, your skills in one of the most important aspects of the job search: “Follow Up” are abominable. Yes, most often completely missing or weak, at best.
Here are some examples of today’s state of the art of executive follow up during the job search:
- Following a one-on-one networking meeting, when you ask for names of contacts, there was no thank you e-mail or note whatsoever. That’s called “using”, not networking.
- Last night, you attended an evening network event whereby you exchanged cards with Sally and you, the job-seeker, committed to sending her your credentials and a cover letter outlining what you are looking for. That event was two weeks ago. As a strong “lead” for you, Sally has gone cold.
- After Frank helped you secure an interview, Frank never heard how the interview went. Months later, Frank spoke to his contact at the interviewing company and he learned you were hired. Bad form.
There are so many more examples, but more helpful might be to share the three main actions you must assure you complete every day during your job search and months following:
- Daily Follow Up. First thing on your list of actions for your job search. Think about who helped you the day before and thank them. Regardless if it was an introduction to another person, a lead for a position posting, or just an idea. Send them a thank you. Then, put a meeting in your calendar for one month from today and three months from today. Give them an update and thank them.
- Major Milestone Follow Up. Did you have an interview today? Phone discussion with an HR person? Informational meeting or encouraging note from a job prospect? Then stop, and follow up with every person who helped you with that particular opportunity, all the way back to someone who introduced you to someone, no matter how remote. Thank them and commit to letting them know how the next step goes, too.
- Hired! Depending on the level of support, it is very appropriate to send a plant, flowers, gift certificate, gift basket or something to show a significant level of appreciation. Naturally, the gift value should be commensurate with the size of the position and level of support they gave you.
Executives, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! You need to have much better form along your executive job search journey. Be gracious, offer help back to them and stay in touch for years ahead to build genuine, two-way relationships. Good luck!