Be calm when short-listed

March 2, 2008
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , — jonimar @ 5:00 pm

Q: I have been short-listed for my dream job. They said they’d let me know within days, and it’s now been three weeks. I’ve sent a thank-you and called three times, but they keep saying it’ll just be a bit longer. How much do I pester and how long do I wait?

A: It’s a delicate balance between being a stellar standout and a nagging nuisance. Treat it as an extended job interview with the opportunity to set yourself apart.

Stay on their radar screen. Engage them in ongoing dialogues so you are top of mind when they review the applications. Keep your tone inquisitive and interested rather than insistent or challenging. Cultivate a personal connection so they can put a face to a resumé.

Pay close attention to the cues. Don’t assume you are out of the running. When the selection process is slow going, listen for an underlying cause such as overwhelming response, reduced urgency or competing business pressures. Notice how they are responding to you: Positive interest or cool indifference?

Demonstrate your unique qualities. Employers’ criteria may not be visible on a resumé. Attitude and character are valued attributes. Make a lasting impression by being consistently professional, positive, enthusiastic, confident and calm in your interactions. Proactively staying in touch shows initiative, determination and perseverance. What firm wouldn’t want that?

Don’t pin all your hopes on this one role. Court other job opportunities so you don’t come across desperate or demanding. A highly sought-after candidate can be more appealing to a prospective employer. Who knows, in the meantime you may discover another dream job.

Originally printed in The Province, March 2, 2008.


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