These tactics will damage your reputation
In my position I have a unique vantage point. Daily, I work with hiring managers to help them hire great people and with job seekers to help them navigate their next career move. I’ve handled more hiring transactions than most people do in their entire working life. I’ve observed some pretty cool things that job seekers do to navigate a successful career – I learn from them every day. I’ve also seen some pretty amazing mistakes that candidates make – mistakes that will have long and far-reaching effects on their personal career success in the future.
Here are some tactics to avoid and some stories behind them that might help you avoid the ultimate misfortune:
1. Poorly written communication. Typos have unfortunately become somewhat acceptable in our mobile world. The “smart” devices interpret our keystrokes and make us look stupid with autofill and similar features. Mistyping a communication with someone you know personally is usually overlooked, but sending an email introduction or thank you letter from your mobile device without taking time to carefully craft it can be dangerous. In more than one case in the past year, a misspelled word in a thank you note resulted in the candidate being disqualified following a final interview.
2. Cancelling an interview at the last minute. I realize that offers surface out of the blue when you are looking for a new position. Sometimes, the offer that comes is the one you’ve been dreaming of! Congratulations! Now, what to do about the interview you have scheduled for tomorrow morning? This is a tough situation – there are many ways you can handle it with grace. Let me share some of the things you SHOULDN’T do: 1. Do not email the hiring manager a cancellation; 2. Do not call the receptionist or HR Manager to have them pass on the bad news; 3. Do not lie about anything. Here is what you SHOULD do: PICK UP THE PHONE and call the hiring manager directly just as soon as you can – explain the situation – let them know that you don’t want to waste anyone’s time and that you will happily attend the interview if they would still like to meet with you. Give the hiring manager the option to cancel the interview – and of course, thank them very much for considering you. And finally, offer to help out with
referrals to colleagues who might be interested.
3. Communicating bad news by email. This goes back to my last point. If you receive an offer and are going to decline it – make a phone call. If you need to reschedule a meeting because of a true emergency – make a phone call. If you want to negotiate portions of your offer – make a phone call. If you need to explain something that will surface during your background check – make a phone call. NEVER send anything negative or any bad news
via email. It’s just not right.
4. Asking for help from your network and not reciprocating. There are people out there who are extremely benevolent with their network connections. These are the true professionals who will go over and above for a fellow professional or anyone who needs help. Then, there are those who only have time for their network when they need something. When THEY need a connection – when THEY are unemployed – when THEY are interested in a cool new position at
a company you work for. Don’t be one of the latter. You’ll find that your network will stop paying dividends in the future – and you will definitely need your network in the future.
5. Rudeness. You may be the smartest, most sought after technical professional in the entire city…..you may get dozens of calls per week from recruiters and hiring managers who want to offer you the most amazing position….you may be very busy and don’t have time to talk with anyone who can’t help you with your immediate needs. Well, that is no excuse for rudeness.
Colorado is in fact a right to work state. You may be fully employed today and fully unemployed tomorrow. Here is a quick story. I placed a number of calls into a hiring manager about 10 years ago. I was doing business with another department at his company and knew that he could benefit from my services as well. His replies were rude and dismissive – he didn’t want to know me, didn’t want to work with me and made that very clear. Sooooo, fast forward to 2008.
Guess who is an unemployed executive with 4 kids and a really big mortgage? Yep, he called – I had to think about it for a couple of days, but I returned his call. I met with him, helped him with his resume and some connections. He said that this was the scariest time he’d ever encountered in his career and he had learned his lesson about being rude – especially to recruiters. He’s working, very successful once again. But guess what? He’s let the network he worked so hard to build while he was unemployed go cold – some people just never learn.
6. Failing to say thank you. I know I’ve said this until someone is blue in the face. Send thank you notes to EVERYONE you meet during the interview process. Send thank you notes to network connections who make introductions for you. Send thank you notes to the countless people, co-workers, mentors, references, family members who have supported you – even in a very small way – during your search.
7. Backing out on an offer that you’ve accepted. Someone this week asked me, “If I back out on this offer do you think I’ll burn a bridge with this company?” Ummmmm, yep. Not only that but you’ll burn bridges with everyone at the company who you’ve met or who has heard of you accepting the offer. And, they will remember ….they will tell everyone they know, and everyone at their next company…..and so on. If you make a commitment, keep it. If the offer isn’t one you can commit to – then pass on it.
I realize that employers make mistakes and treat job seekers badly too. That doesn’t justify bad behavior on your part. You have a reputation to create and maintain in a pretty small market where everyone is really only 3 degrees away from you. Social media has made it REALLY easy to check on your reputation – so please protect it. Don’t pull any of these moves if you want to continue upward progress in your career.
For information on getting hired – and for a current list of job opportunities – visit us here.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]