Respond quickly to an unexpected job opportunity with these simple moves
Thursday, December 06, 2018
Whether it is a last-ditch effort at year-end or an attempt to get the new year started off on the right foot, leaders often make what seem to be last-minute employment offers around this time of year.
If a casual networking event has resulted in an unexpected job opportunity, make these simple moves to take full advantage of the chance.
The best place to start is the easiest one for the potential employer to check: LinkedIn. Do a quick check of your profile and make any necessary updates. For example, make sure the picture is not still the one of you in formal wear with the other person cropped out.
Most phones can do great selfies and have timers, wake up ten minutes early tomorrow and after getting ready, take a few. If it has been a tough year or a tough night, spend a couple bucks on a photo enhancing app and smooth things out a bit. Then, upload the picture by lunch and send an invite to the connection immediately.
Similarly, take a quick look at your resume. Unless you are applying for a job in education, move the list of degrees to the bottom of the resume and add an objective at the top that reflects the job for which you are being asked to apply. Then, add your current job title and take a minute to add a few bullets to ensure the things you discussed with the person recruiting you are reflected.
Even though this type of situation requires a fast response, do not compromise common sense. Respond in a timely but professional manner.
Even if the opportunity was born out of a casual situation, this is not the time to be casual. Err on the side of professionalism; double-check for typos and do not forget the basics like please and thank you.
Then, start planning. Look at the calendar and get clear when you have room to duck out for an interview. If it seems impossible, are you mentally prepared to call in sick or take a vacation day on short notice? Be ready so that you are not scrambling at the last minute.
Also take a minute to consider clothing. Interview attire may not be what you normally wear to work; be ready for comments from colleagues or plan ahead by layering and leaving the jacket and/or heels in the car.
Ideally, try to schedule the interview first thing in the morning or at the end of the day to avoid any long, midday breaks from the office.
Next, take a breath. Things may be moving fast but that can be a really good thing. Pause and consider how this situation is a good example for why you are perfect for the job.
In other words, the ability to see and create opportunity, respond timely and professionally and think on your feet are all great characteristics. By taking a few minutes to reflect on the current, exciting, fast-moving situation, you will be better prepared to continue taking advantage of the opportunities that may be presented as part of the process.
The bottom line is, remember to be professional, calm and thoughtful even when an opportunity comes from a casual, unexpected and seemingly spontaneous meeting.
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