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How You Could Be Burning Bridges and Losing Future Jobs

There's the door

While it’s true job seekers will often have their pick of positions, due to the volume of jobs available, this does not mean you want to burn bridges with potential employers. ...In fact, if you are a job seeker, you must take care not to alienate an employer or eliminate the possibility of return. Even when you choose not to accept a job offer, or you decide to go another way, how you communicate that to a prospective employer can mean all the difference.

This is something many job seekers either don’t realize or often forget. The key steps you must take if you don’t want to burn bridges or lose out on future jobs are to be honest and upfront, don’t piss off the person who could get you the ideal job, don’t string an employer along, and communicate. Regular communication is more important than you know and can actually make or break a person’s career.

Be Honest and Upfront

Let's start with the obvious…. be honest and upfront. This step applies from the point you start preparing your resume, all the way through getting and starting a new job (and after you’ve got the job too). You need to let potential employers know your expectations. You need to do so clearly and in no uncertain terms.

You need to be honest in your resume and your interview. Even if you have a blemish on your record or a gap in your employment history, be upfront about it. It’s not like they aren’t going to find out. Lying will only cause a potential employer to question your trustworthiness.

If you get an offer that you don’t like, be honest. Let the employer know what you don’t like and what you would like to see changed. If they want to hire you and can make such changes, they will likely do so. If you have other offers you are considering, speak up. Let the employer know you like their offer, but you have a few others you are reviewing as well. Don’t do this as an attempt to get more money or a better deal, but simply to be honest about it. They need to know. It’s unfair to make them sit and wait for your decision, particularly when they have competition.

Be Careful Not to Piss Off the Very Person Who Could Get You the Ideal Job

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a job seeker to unwittingly piss off the very person who could get them their ideal job. This can happen by failing to make a scheduled interview time, being late, being rude, not following simple instructions, being unprepared, neglecting to return calls promptly and more.

Greet every person you encounter in a friendly and personable manner. Even if you are “meeting” someone via an email or on the phone. Be polite. You never know whether the person you are conversing with is a key decision maker. You also never know when you may encounter that same individual in the future, whether it be at the company where you are currently interviewing or at another company you may interview with in the years to come.

Maybe the receptionist you see when you go in for an interview is actually the Hiring Manager just covering the phones while the real receptionist goes to the bathroom. Perhaps the person sitting at the desk is the spouse of the owner. Being polite to every person you encounter, and making a good first impression, can dramatically decrease your chances of pissing off the very person who could land you your ideal job.

Every person you come in contact with throughout the course of your job search is important. It doesn’t matter what role they play. Treat them with respect and kindness. You will go a long way if you keep this in mind.

Don’t String a Potential Employer Along

Sometimes when a job seeker has multiple job offers, or is interviewing at a number of different places, he or she might string one or more of the potential employers along. This is a no-no. You need to let employers know where you stand. If you like their company and the job you have been offered, then accept. If you’d rather wait for something better to come along, then say so. Don’t string one employer along as your “backup” job just in case your ideal job doesn’t send you an offer or hires someone else. That’s not fair. In addition, you NEVER want to accept a job offer only to turn it down a little while later because you got something better.

Companies invest a lot of time and money in finding quality employees. Most employers want an employee who wants to be there, not one who only accepted the job because nothing better came along. If you’re interviewing with companies A, B and C, then you should want to work at each of those companies. Should you determine one or more don’t line up with your objectives and goals, then politely decline any offer you have been given or politely bow out and let the person know you’re not interested at this time. Thank him or her for their time and move on. Being wishy-washy or not having the integrity to stand up for yourself is not a quality employers look for in potential employees.

You Need to Communicate More Often Than You Think

Communication is more important than most people realize. Employers appreciate job seekers who are responsive to their phone calls and emails. It shows you are interested in the position and want to proceed to the next step in the hiring process. Failing to keep in touch can be interpreted as a sign of disinterest.

This does not mean you should be pushy. It simply means you should be in regular communication with the potential employer. Same goes if you are working with a recruiter. You need to communicate more often than you think and you must be responsive to phone calls or emails. Even if you encounter a bump in the road, be in communication about it. People are going to be much more understanding when you speak up than if they don’t hear from you.

Saying you really want the job but need another week before you can start as you don’t want to leave your current employer in a lurch is much better than saying nothing at all. It’s also much better than trying to figure it out on your own without telling anyone. Who knows…maybe the employer will be fine with you starting a week later than originally planned. One thing is for certain, the new employer will definitely appreciate your communication, honesty and dedication.

When it all comes down to it, how you leave an old job and start a new one (including the process of the job search itself) will have an impact on your future. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do the steps we’ve mentioned, but it can save a lot of heartache by preventing burned bridges and lost jobs.

If you are currently looking for a job in the Allied Healthcare or Dental industries and you need a little assistance, whether it be with finding the ideal job or preparing your resume, we are here to help. Call Mya at 818-890-9998 to discuss your options or go online to take a look at one of our current job listings.

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