Executives these days seem to pay less attention to good manners and etiquette when networking, and through the entire executive job search process . . . which makes these positive qualities even more powerful assets to those who demonstrate them.
People with particularly good manners stand out above those who don’t bother, or never really learned how.
4 Mannerly Things You Should Do to Accelerate Your Job Search
1. Thank people for their help and support.
Unless you have a super speedy job search, and land that great-fit job quickly, many people along the way will help you reach your job search goals.
Make a point of telling them how much you appreciate their help and support.
Say thank you a lot . . . in person, on paper, and digitally.
Beyond verbally thanking them, take the time to hand write thank you notes, especially to hiring decision makers at your target companies and anyone you interview with.
Thank you notes are an important piece in the job search toolkit that most job seekers overlook.
In fact, so few people send thank you notes, that those who do particularly stand out. I’ve known of many people who landed a job they wanted and found out later that they were neck-and-neck with someone else but, because they sent a thank you note right after each interview round, they were chosen.
Sure, it’s an effort to jot down notes right after an interview or encounter with someone who’s helping you with your job search so you’ll have the meat you need for meaningful thank you notes, but the time is well spent.
More in my post, How Important Are Thank You Notes in Executive Job Search?
2. Take advantage of the secret weapon for job-winning interviews.
Want to really stand out from the crowd with people interviewing you?
Smile . . . a lot.
Smiling does double duty. Not only do interviewers instantly warm to a smiling face, but planting a big smile on your face as you walk into an interview gives you confidence, and helps you overcome that inherent nervousness.
“The shortest distance between two people is a smile.”
Put on a happy face. I mean a genuine smile that shows in your eyes, too.
Try this too – up the ante by combining your winning smile with attentive listening. Being a good listener makes even less qualified candidates more attractive.
More about the value of smiling in my post, The Secret Weapon for Job-Winning Interviews.
3. Be courteous when expanding your LinkedIn network.
Networking your way into companies you’re targeting in executive job search is the best way to land a great-fit job.
That means getting back in touch with those you’ve neglected – as so many of us do when we’re busy in our professional lives – and connecting with new people, to expand your network.
You need to cast a wide net on LinkedIn (and elsewhere) and build a robust, diverse network.
More people in your network means more opportunities for solid job leads, among other things.
And did you know that once you pass the 500 connections milestone, your LinkedIn profile is more likely to land higher in search results?
So there’s good reason to get busy connecting with all kinds of people, especially if you have fewer than 500 connections.
Courtesy goes a long way when you’re trying to build up your LinkedIn connections. There’s the so-so default way most people invite others to connect, and there’s the best – and more foolproof – way to do it, by personalizing your invitation to connect.
Whether you’re reaching out to people you don’t know or barely know, or to people you do know, opt for the best way.
4. Keep your network engaged and happy with you.
Networking (face-to-face and online) is the best way to land a job because it leads you smack dab into the “hidden” goldmine of executive jobs that are never advertised.
As you’re expanding your network, you’ll need to continue reinforcing your connection to your existing network.
Want to network better, with better results?
Here are some ways that good manners and empathy pay off when networking:
Practice “give to get” networking. Approach new contacts with the attitude “how can we help each other?” Don’t expect favors without giving something in return. Networking that works for everyone is all about helping, sharing, and finding common ground.
Be kind, take it slow. Keep in mind that many of the people you want to network with are probably being tapped by more job seeking connections than ever before for advice and leads. Don’t be offended if they don’t respond. They may not have the time.
Be friendly and upbeat. Nobody likes a downer who constantly complains about how bad things are out there.
I want to reiterate this: Be a good listener. People remember those who give them that boost by being truly interested in what they have to say. Good listeners set themselves up for reciprocity in networking. They’re much more inclined to keep engaged listeners top of mind when they hear of an opportunity that may be a good fit for them.
Nurture relationships by staying in touch. Send birthday, anniversary, and holiday cards by regular mail. Email them with links to blog posts and articles you know they’ll like. Let them know about upcoming industry events, trade shows and other events of interest. Pick up the phone and call people sometimes.
More in my post, How to Network Your Way Into a Great-Fit Executive Job.