The U.S. unemployment rate for May 2016 was 4.7%, the lowest in 102 months (since November 2007). The market, especially in STEM-related fields, is an employee’s market. Even so, that doesn’t mean that securing that next job is a slam dunk. You may have been awesome during your interview and are excited about the new opportunity, however, plenty of professionals are looking to leave their current positions for other opportunities and competition is strong. Now what? Take these seven steps to elevate your candidacy for the role.
If you are a recruiter or interviewer, keep track of the candidates who take these steps. Those who do, are the ones who are really interested and on the ball.
1. Summarize the interview the questions you were asked, and the answers that you gave
Shortly following the interview, summarize the questions you were asked and the answers that you gave. This is a great way to easily reference the interview questions, and know your answers for any subsequent interviews – as well as how you could have better answered them.
2. Within 24 hours, write thank you notes
Make sure you have received the business card of every person with whom you interviewed.
The best thank you notes I have received were handwritten and were either mailed directly to me, or written in the candidate’s car and brought back up.
An email will work as well, however, handwritten is the best – it makes a statement, as most people email.
Your thank you note should include:
- Thank them for their time and let them know that you appreciated being able to meet with them to discuss the position and their company.
- Let them know you believe the position is an excellent match (only if it really is) and explain in a sentence or two why you believe that.
- Personalize your notes to each individual, sharing something different about your time with them, and what you have learned.
- Provide any new information to address potential interviewer concerns or supply more information on an area where you drew a blank.
- Reference an article of interest related to a topic you discussed during the interview and reinforce your expertise.
- It’s a fantastic idea to also send a note or email to the support staff – you never know how much influence they have in the hiring decision.
3. Follow their company on LinkedIn and Twitter, and connect on LinkedIn
Follow their company on both LinkedIn and Twitter – it does show your sincere interest.
According to a recent Forbes article, “most of the pros advised holding off on sending LinkedIn invitations to the people who interviewed you until after the hiring process has ended.” If you notice that any of the interviewers has fewer that 500 connections, it may be an indication that they are not a heavy LinkedIn user, and may see your request as too bold a move. It is wise to use your best judgment with them.
4. Be proactive & follow up with your main point of contact
At the end of the interview know the next step or ask. Be sure you understand the proposed timeline for feedback. If you haven’t heard back by then, absolutely email or call to touch base and follow up with your main point of contact.
If you truly want to show how amazing you are, set up a Google alert, or do some quick online research to see what’s going on either with their company, or their industry. It gives you a little something extra to talk about when following up. Talk about something new each time you connect.
Use the method of communication your new contact prefers. Did they reach out to you initially via phone or email? Use that method in responding and think twice about using anything other than that.
5. Follow instructions
Don’t pester the recruiter or interviewer. If they said it would take two weeks, wait and then reach out again. If you’ve reached out twice and haven’t heard back, it is likely a sign they have made another decision. Move on.
6. Touch base with your references
This is the time for you to connect with your references and let them know there is potential for them to be called. Give your references your quick summary of why you’re a great fit for this position and company.
7. Begin prepping for the next round of interviews
Be ready, at a moment’s notice, for the next interview. Following these steps will ensure you are prepared for subsequent interviews, remain in contact, and in their line of sight! These are fantastic ways to be proactive, instead of simply waiting for the phone to ring with another interview request, or job offer.
To learn more about how other Life Science companies have partnered with us to overcome road blocks and capacity issues and tapped into our skilled professional talent pool, contact me at 612.703.4236 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talencio, LLC has been the preferred provider of vetted, accomplished professionals to the Life Sciences community for over eight years.