Late last week, I was working with a client on his follow-up to a hiring manager. He wanted to wow the interviewer which is the goal we all should set in our interactions with a perspective employer. The client had finished the final interview and was in limbo until the organization completed the interviewing process for two other candidates.
As we talked and the client thought through his word choice, I said to him that the letter he was about to send would not win him the job…he has either won or not won the job through this entire process. As we discussed this concept, I thought about getting hired and all the steps to the process.
The networking, resume, cover letter, screening interview, office interview, follow-up correspondence, etc. – no one step can win you the offer but a slip up in any of these steps can cost you a job. I hate to think of the job search in terms of a minefield, but it seems appropriate. It takes several steps to make it through the field and one misstep has disastrous results.
This analogy may be helpful for those in the job hunt – view the hiring process as one involving several steps. One cannot try to gloss over any step (“My resume is fine” or “I am awesome in interviews – I can wing this”). Treat each step with care and attention, realizing failure to do so could have negative consequences.
And on the flip side, do not become so pre-occupied on any one step that the others suffer. Too many job hunting clients ask me to look at their resumes and tell me they have had multiple interviews, but always seem to come in second. That tells me the resume is fine (no interview offers…start with resume/cover letter/application materials) as he is progressing through the minefield until the final step. This is where we need to spend time and care to close the deal.
Depressing – yes. Realistic – yes. No one step can secure a job offer but any misstep can cause you to be eliminated from the hiring process. Tread carefully out there and keep moving forward!