OK, so, to be perfectly honest with you, I wasn't going to share one of these ... no, I was going to hoard it as my own personal "secret trick"; but at the Social Media Club event last week I was grilled on how I got my name tag to read what it did, and I spilled the beans there, and those who were pushing me on it all but insisted that I should pass it along here. Just my luck that it will stop working if everybody starts doing it!
This particular "secret" is getting "HIRE ME!!!" printed out on name tags for networking events ... most folks who know me find this very amusing, as they're familiar with my "job stalking" situation, and have wondered how I manged to get that on my printed name tags. Well, I must admit, it was by accident at first ... I'd been filling out a form (probably an EventBrite one) and put in the "company" area "HIRE ME!!!" figuring that 10 months into a job search is no time to be subtle. Much to my surprise, the printed card at the event had this right along the bottom where others had their company name (fortunately, the "position" data of "Job Seeker" that I also filled in didn't print, as that would be sort of over-kill).
Obviously, one needs to judge the nature of the event one's going to, but for most general "networking" functions, it couldn't hurt having that particular call to action at least being subliminally broadcast!
The next point is about thank-you cards. One of this week's "list of links" is a piece from Career Rocketeer which looks at the question Do Thank You Notes Really Matter?. Written by a recruiter, it points out that only about 10% to 20% of interviewees send cards to the folks who had conducted the interview, which means that, on average, just doing this one simple thing has a substantial chance of making your actions stand out ...
He says: "Over the years, I have seen a number of times where it's not the most qualified, or closest match candidate that gets the offer, but rather the one that seems to want the job the most and expresses that enthusiasm professionally. That is often determined by the fact that one sent a Thank You note expressing their interest and the other did not."
How difficult is it to keep a couple of boxes of Hallmark thank-you cards on hand? How difficult is it to do a few sentences thanking the interviewers for their time, and reiterating that you are interested in the position? Not very. Now, over my adult life, I have habitually maintained a supply of thank-you cards, largely due to something from my youth. One of my Mother's good friends was the Episcopal Bishop of Chicago, and my Mom used to joke that he probably carried the card (with a stamped and addressed envelope) in his pocket when he went out to dinner, filling it out and dropping it in a mailbox on his way home, as his thank-you notes arrived so quickly! My Mother was not easy to impress, and yet the Bishop managed it time and again with this attention to detail. Again, how difficult is it to make sure you get the card out the day of the interview?
Both of these "tricks" are easy to execute, but the difference they potentially provide in making you memorable (in a good way), could be the key to being hired.