Don’t be aggressive in your job search. Settle down, aggressive job search tactics will kill your search. Be more measured. Ridiculous advice right? However, before you hit the close tab and go back to your game of Parcheesi, hear me out.
After years of interviewing and hiring folks for our organization and for client companies, I’ve met a lot of candidates. I have had the fortune of extending offers to many and have unfortunately had to turn others down. I’ve seen all types of personalities and engagement levels during the interview process and the one trait that is always a concern to me is an overly aggressive candidate.
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For the most part, I encourage people to put all they have into their interviews and job search. I also personally respond well to a candidate who is all in when I’m hiring for my team. However, all in doesn’t mean aggressive. There’s a fine line between engaged and annoying.
Exhibit You Understand Business Processes When Interviewing
I realize the hiring process can be frustrating. Some companies aren’t great at giving timely feedback or may have policies to not follow up at all. And, the longer you sit on the sidelines wondering what’s happening with the interview process, the more frustrated you become. However, regardless of your frustration level, it’s important that you exhibit a professional approach at every turn during your job search.
Hiring processes take a long time for most companies. Organizations are interested in finding the best fit while staying in line with their corporate policies and processes. Any delay you may experience when interviewing is typically due to an internal process on the hiring companies side. It rarely, if ever, has anything to do with your candidacy.
Therefore, when you become overly aggressive and demand feedback, a final answer or an update, you aren’t helping your cause. Once you become aggressive or overly pushy, a hiring manager will walk away from pursuing you even if you are their top candidate. They’ll become concerned about your level of professionalism and the ability to navigate the corporate landscape.
You can’t make a company move any faster than they are able. You will only diminish your chances by projecting that you aren’t able to manage a business transaction professionally, which is a turnoff in nearly all situations.
It’s Out Of Your Hands
In a society where we’re able to obtain nearly anything we want or need immediately, the hiring process feels even more antiquated. But, if you look at it from an employer’s perspective it makes sense.
If you were hiring a contractor to build a custom home, you wouldn’t spend 30 minutes talking with only one person and then hire them immediately. You’d take your time vetting builders. The same is true with companies when they make hiring decisions. A long process is to be expected, especially in larger organizations, because they want to hire the best person for their needs.
As you embark on a new job search the biggest piece of advice I can give is to embrace the idea that it’s out of your control and aggressive job search tactics won’t help you move forward in the hiring process. You can only control your actions, the strength of your resume and your interview presence and polish.
Be Polished In Your Approach
Instead of trying to control something out of your hands, focus on what you can do. Make sure your message is consistent, clear and polished when you do engage with a potential employer. Your correspondence (thank you letter, cover letter etc.) should have a similar professional feel and should be written from the same voice.
Show your energy, abilities, and eagerness for the opportunity without seeming desperate or unprofessional. Communication, both verbal and written, is key to landing a job offer! If you remain professional during your job search, you will increase the likely hood of receiving an offer and landing a new gig!