We tell job seekers this all the time: you must demonstrate a sense of urgency when you’re in the job market. This means you must not only work your job search consistently, but you also need to respond quickly to any requests that are made of you. Whether it’s a hiring manager who is asking for you to take a pre-hire assessment, or you’re responding to a request for contact information for references, demonstrating a sense of urgency shows employers that you are serious about the job and you value their time.
A common reason for rejecting candidates on the recruiting side of our business is a failure to communicate in a timely manner. A great way to impress your future boss is to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and deliver on a promise. If you’re asked to do something, set an expectation on when you’ll get it done and then deliver! Make a point to check your email on a frequent basis (every couple of hours) when you’re corresponding with someone about a job. If someone emails you with information or a request, acknowledge that you received it.
Send ‘thank you’ notes promptly after interviews—ideally the same day while the meeting is fresh in your mind (and theirs). Waiting more than 24 hours to thank someone for their time via email looks like an afterthought, and they may have already had to make key judgements and decisions on whether to move forward with your candidacy.
If you’re asked to provide additional information or to complete any trial projects, ask what kind of turnaround time they’d like to see and don’t assume it can wait until you get around to it. Often employers are looking to see how quickly you’ll respond and what kind of timeline you’ll suggest. Unless you have an unusual circumstance that prevents you from a quick turnaround, aim to respond to all emails within 12 to 24 hours. If you’re asked to do something that will take some time to complete, set an expectation on when you’ll get it done.
Demonstrating a sense of urgency during the hiring process shows your future boss what you’ll be like to work with and how you’ll likely interact with colleagues and clients. This is an important part of being a good communicator and it helps them visualize you as a successful person on their team.
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