How timing is critical in your job search.
Let’s keep this short and simple. Like the delivery of a good joke, timing is everything in job searching. Here are some useful tips in making timing work for you:
Don’t let the sizzle sputter. If a job posting says, “looking to hire immediately, in dire need of the right person to start now,” or something similar, and you match the qualifications APPLY NOW. Too many job seekers are passive in their job search and tend to make files and organize when they should be actively applying for positions that are open and eagerly seeking qualified applicants. If you are qualified and job is RED HOT, apply NOW.
Ready, Fire, Aim! “Apply/call between the hours of…” literally means you should do just that. Working with employers, I hear all too often about the job seeker that just couldn’t seem to follow the simple instruction of applying during the requested hours. Not only do you fail to get yourself in front of the hiring manager, but your first impression is of a person that cannot follow directions.
Scope out the scene. You have an interview. Arrive on time. Wait. Scratch that. Arrive EARLY. I know you’ve heard it before, but I’ll write it again. If you are not familiar with where your interview will take place, drive there (in rush hour) to not only test the timing of traffic (at its worst) but also to find out where you are going so that it will be that much more familiar and comfortable when you arrive for your actual interview.
Know when to say when. Or, in other words, know when you’ve said or done enough. If an interviewer asks you about your last job, focus on the job duties and how well you performed them. Don’t talk about how your hands cramped up from all the data entry and the mean boss that limited your lunch hours therefore increasing the pain from so much typing . Indeed, I have a friend who was responsible for hiring sales leads for a technology company. The 2nd interview was a practical demonstration of skills that required applicants to give a 2 minute sales pitch and presentation. Of the four applicants, three went over 2 minutes with one of these individuals speaking for FOURTEEN minutes. As my friend said, “By the time she was done, I didn’t even want to buy our products!”
Wait for it… wait for it… NOW. This is just a pet peeve, but I share it with many employers so I share it with you now. If you’re inquiring about a job or in an interview, wait for the person on the other end of the conversation to finish speaking before responding. Individuals who “jump the gun” often offend others by demonstrating a lack of concern for what their fellow conversationalist is saying. Speaking before your turn is simply rude. A good rule of thumb is to listen attentively and respond after a calm head nod and acknowledging response such as, “I love that question.” or “I appreciate the company’s perspective. I would fit into this by…” — In other words, listen – acknowledge – THEN respond.
Okay trusty job seekers, go out into the world, wear a good watch, mind the timing, and best of luck to you as always on your job search.
Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.