I pay attention to the search words that point to my blog. The number one pointer is this post I wrote several years ago, following up on a hiring decision. I also have had a couple of questions recently so I thought it was worth a revisit.
According to the Department of Labor, there is one position for every four (and a half) people. If you are looking, you have to be completely prepared.
1. Your materials - resume, cover letter, writing sample, LinkedIn profile, facebook page, twitter stream - ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that your potential employer is going to use to evaluate your candidacy MUST BE PERFECT. Not only check for typos but check for proper words. Candidate forgot the L in public works. Spell check doesn't catch that. It doesn't look good.
2. When you arrive for an interview (or have a phone screen), don't let the words of some of your answers be the first time you hear yourself say them. Practice. Really, sounds crazy but do. Practice with a mirror, your best furry friend, spouse/significant other/partner, anyone who will help. Practice standard answers and delve into behavioral interview questions, too. There are tons of questions online. Google is your bff with this topic.
3. Thank those who interviewed you. There is all kinds of dialogue about whether or not thank you notes are required. If they even do any good. Let me put it this way. It can't hurt. Unless you spell the interviewer's name wrong. Then you look lazy. If you are going to write thank you notes, for the love of pete, CHECK the spelling. Please.
4. When you don't hear back, do follow up. But know this. Many HR departments have had their budgets, resources, and positions cut. They have had to make business decisions on where to invest what resources they have. That may mean not notifying applicants. Poor form? Indeed. But before you lash out at HR, keep this in mind. They may not have ATS that generates a letter. It may be a manual process. They may be months/years/decades behind.
5. Feedback on your materials. When I do get these calls, I simply do not have the time to provide in-depth analysis and feedback on your stuff. I cannot be your coach, counselor, or cheerleader; I represent the interests of the business. Take advantage of your career resources (from your college or university), the myriad of amazing resources online, and your friends.
If you are looking, my best to you. If you have other resources you would like to share, add them to the comments below.
Here's to a great week.