How Being Polite Can Help You Land a Job
In today’s frenetic tech-based society, sometimes all it takes to stand out from the crowd of fellow job seekers is the human touch. A recent NPR story noted that people searching for employment spend about 70-80 percent of their time looking for jobs online, yet 70-80 percent of the available jobs are never even listed there.
Those jobs are snagged by friends or acquaintances who happened to make the right connection at the right time. Looking for new opportunities? Social dynamics can help you make it happen.
- Start Conversations — You may have to step out of your comfort zone, but practice makes it easier. If you’re waiting in a long line, for example, a little friendly small talk with the person next to you may lead to an interesting chat about what you do for a living. Getting into this habit puts you in the path of opportunities you never knew existed.
- Help Out — Volunteer. Be sincere and help for the right reasons, but keep in mind that the more you are out there helping, the more connections you can make just by offering a helping hand.
- Focus on Others — When you are talking with someone, first ask them questions about their job and their needs—and listen. If you can fill their creative staffing needs, then…
- Tell a Story — Gill Corkindale from the Harvard Business Review recommend having a short “STAR” story to tell. The acronym stands for “Situation, Task, Achievements, Results.” This short (no more than 5-minutes) teaser story should share a brief business Situation where you solved a problem (Task), Achieved the business goal and got positive Results. So instead of just saying you’re a copywriter, say “I drive traffic to my clients’ websites...”
- Have a Business Card — Carry a few of them everywhere you go. Nothing beats having your contact information and a reminder of your unique value on compact piece of paper. If possible, get the other person’s card also and write a note on it about what you discussed.
- Follow up — If you exchanged contact information, use it. Send a quick email or make a short phone call and continue your discussion.
- Always Say "Thank You"—Whether searching for employment or seeking new clients, always send a personal, friendly thank-you note referencing your discussion or interview. This polite, personal touch tells them you are truly interested, and that you are a thoughtful person to work with.
So get out there and be your most friendly, engaging self and of course land a job!