You say you want a job, but your actions tell us otherwise. Why do I say that? Because for the last three weeks, we had better than 80 percent of the people we were scheduled to interview for customer service jobs that paid well no-show when the time came. These are people that submitted a resume to a job posting, who got a message from us that we wanted to talk, who confirmed the time for the call, but when the time came, they didn’t pick up. We left voicemails. They still don’t call back.
Even worse, there were people that we did talk to who had a final round of onsite interviews set up that didn’t show up. I don’t understand how people can sabotage their job search (and their future) so badly that they don’t keep their commitments.
I don’t know if it’s that they applied for the job we posted to check a box for unemployment that they were actively looking for work, or perhaps it’s that they are living on the extra $600/week benefit from unemployment, so aren’t motivated to take a job. Whatever it is, the amount of unprofessional and lousy behavior from job seekers we see right now is off the charts. When I’ve mentioned this to other business people in town, they are not surprised, and I hear, “That’s just Racine.” Wow. You have no idea how much I hate that answer. Why have we gotten to the point we expect (and allow) unprofessional behavior from job seekers?
Assuming perhaps there is a different reason for the lack of follow-through, here are some suggestions for how to run a successful job search for anyone serious about looking for a job
Tools for a successful job search
Make sure your job search tools are up to par. It would be best if you had a resume that has a record of your work, educational experience, a phone number that you answer (with a voice mail that you check), and an email with a professional name. You can create free emails via Gmail. It would help if you had a phone to get messages on and take calls with and a calendar where you can write down upcoming interviews.
After you do submit your resume for a job, check your email and phone a couple of times a day and be responsive the minute you see an email or call. Most of the time, you will get an email first asking for times you can talk. If you commit to a time, make sure to write it in the calendar and set a reminder, so you don’t miss the call.
If the employer calls you out-of-the-blue and it’s not a good time to talk, let them know when a better time is and make sure to keep that commitment. Once you have committed to an interview, do not cancel unless there is no other option. Also, when the time comes for the call, you must answer the phone even if the area code is unfamiliar to you.
Why? Because most people got their mobile number years ago, perhaps during college, and even though they are local now, the number may be out of the area. You need to take the call even if it’s not a Racine area code.
During a phone interview, make sure to be somewhere you can talk without interruption. This means, be where there is a good cell signal (if on a mobile phone) and no children or pets bothering you during the call. Present yourself professionally during the call – don’t swear – and answer questions as completely as you can. If you don’t understand what they are asking, it’s OK to ask the interviewer to repeat the call or clarify what they are asking.
There is no guarantee that every interview will lead to a job, but it is a sure bet you won’t get a job if you don’t interview.
Marie Watkins is CEO of Polaris Talent Inc. She has 25 years in HR and Talent Acquisition for companies from 2 people to 200K. She is passionate about helping companies find the right talent to hire and in helping job seekers find a job they enjoy going to on Monday morning. Marie is a subject matter expert in entrepreneurship and volunteers her time helping emerging companies grow.