Manners Still Matter | Articles & Tips | | Buffalo

Articles and Advice

 Manners Still Matter

By Joe Stein

In today’s fast-paced world, it sometimes seems like common courtesy and manners are no longer valued like they used to be. As we go about our day, simple activities such as waiting your turn, or holding the door have become seemingly obsolete as people look out for themselves.
Unfortunately, this type of discourteous behavior has begun to be found in the job search process. It is hard to believe, but you can give yourself a competitive advantage by having manners when seeking a new job. The idea of the lack of courtesy by Job Seekers even found itself recently in the pages of Miss Manners who wrote disapprovingly when someone failed to show for an interview and did not call ahead to inform the Hiring Manager that they will be absent.
The modern work environment involves much more team interaction than perhaps was required in past generations. So, having manners is not only the right thing to do, but is actually a much desired trait in these collaborative work teams. Hiring Managers will usually favor those who he/she believe will fit in well with existing employees.
Like many things seem to be, having manners during your job search involves simple common sense. While it may appear obvious, if you don’t apply these principles in your personal life, it will be more difficult to “turn it on” for your job search.
So, if you were wondering what behaviors we are referring to when stressing the importance of manners, let’s examine some below.
• Remember Thank You and Your Welcome – In other words, be polite when dealing with others in your job search. It is expected that you will display professional behavior, which may be different than how you speak to your friends and family.
• Don’t Forget to Listen – One of our most deteriorating traits appears to be our ability to listen. While it is very tempting to want to get your point across and sell your candidacy, please be careful not to talk over the Hiring Manager.
• Treat Everyone with Respect – An error I sometimes find is that a candidate will be on his or her best behavior, but will treat others (such as the front receptionist) poorly. I can tell you that I am like many in that I will check with the Front Desk regarding any candidate I am interested in. The theory is that how you treat someone when you don’t think you are being watched or evaluated can be quite telling.
• Call If Circumstances Change – The “no show” has unfortunately become a fairly common occurrence with candidates. If (for some reason) you can’t attend an interview, then you should immediately call to inform the Hiring Manager of your circumstances or decision. It is understood that things may change, as you may have found another opportunity or perhaps just changed your mind, but calling (as challenging as this may be) is something that needs to be done.
• Follow Instructions – It is rude and disrespectful to not follow the instructions of your Recruiter or Hiring Manager. For example, if a completed application is required along with your Resume, then please finish it.
• Meet Your Deadlines – Frequently, Job Seekers appear to work off of their own timetable or calendar. If you are supposed to call regarding a job offer on a certain date (or time), then please do so. If you are supposed to attend an appointment for a post-offer drug screen, then make sure you are there for it. • Stay Professional – During a job search, you may not always hear what is desired. A point of frustration for Recruiters or Hiring Managers is that Job Seekers are often critical regarding the lack of feedback provided. However, when it is done, it can be a difficult conversation due to not being received well. Sometimes, just calling someone to inform them that they were a strong candidate but not selected, can turn into a very confrontational discussion. You always want to stay professional in these situations. By doing so, you improve your opportunity of being considered and selected for future positions that may become available.
Just as in your personal life, treating people with respect, being courteous, and having manners should guide your behavior during a job search. In today’s increasingly rude and self-focused environment, a person who treats people well will stand out in a positive manner.
As always, best of luck in your job search!