Tech & Work

Five little things that count in a job search

Here are five small suggestions that will serve you well in a job search.

Some people are so focused on the grand prize of a job search -- a job --t hat they fail to heed of some of the little details in the actual interviewing process that can make a lot of difference in whether they're hired or not.

Here are some things many people brush off but should pay more attention to:

1. When and how you use the resources of your current job.

Some people put their work number and work email on a resume. While this is convenient, it tells the prospective employer that you don't mind doing personal business on company time. So why would they want you working for their company?

2. You apply for one job at a time.

This is heartbreak waiting to happen. If you continuously put all your eggs in one basket, and you don't get the job, you're going to be continually disappointed. Having several irons in the fire keeps you mentally in the game. However, don't mass mail a general resume to everything you see. That will also backfire.

3. You take the job description as gospel.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of lazy hiring managers out there that will throw anything in a job description or will use an old job description without adapting it. If you feel like you meet some of the criteria, emphasize that in your resume or cover letter. Even if you lack xyz skills, the company may make an exception. However, if the job description stresses a certain skillset and indicates it's a requirement, then don't waste your time.

4. You don't send after-interview thank you notes

A couple of years ago, I wrote about writing a thank you note to an interviewer after an interview. That suggestion brought the reader wrath of hell down upon my shoulders, but I stand by it. I'm not saying you gush a long note in long-hand on your Hello Kitty! stationery. But a short note or email is polite and is something that also puts your name in the forefront of the interviewer's mind.

5. You don't follow up.

There is a fine line between following up on a job and stalking. I recommend a call or an email if you haven't heard anything by the time they indicated you would. It shows that you're interested. But don't leave voice mail messages and send email more than once.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Might be a UK perspective that, or maybe it's management level job thing. I can say never heard of anyone in the UK doing it in my long career. I always thank the interviewers for their time after the interview, but that's simple politeness. The biggest problem I have with it though, is I've never had a post interview thankyou note from them, and I suspect my desire for reciprocity would be greeted with frowns of incomprehension. It's too one sided for me, as though I should be bowled over wth gratitude that they spet their valuable time on my mere self....


thank you for well elaborated tips. have gained on this.


Agreed Tony, the one time I sent a thank you it cost me the job. I can say this because I got the interview through a friend at that company. She heard the interviewer's reaction and she told me that my follow-up note blew it.


Sounds like you dodged a bullet Shadeburst. I don't think you would want to work anywhere that wouldn't hire you because you sent a thank you note. I don't think they add a lot of value, but I can't imagine them being perceived as a negative by anyone with any common sense. I have hired hundreds of people over the years and it's always nice to see someone with enough communication skill to say think you for the time.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

receiving thankyou note would definitely be an X in the No column. My instinctive reaction would be that it was some form of sucking up. I don't like suck ups, I mean if they are starting before they even got an offer, what are they going to be like when you have to work with them...

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