More and Less for Friday, June 20

Since it's Friday I thought I'd spend a little bit of time reflecting on the week.

Here are some things I saw this week from job seekers. You should do more of some and less of the others.

Let's start with the less.

Fonts and font sizes

Please, never use Comic Sans in an e-mail to a  prospective employer. In fact, for nearly all professional communication you would be fine using Times New Roman or Arial. And, since we're on the subject of e-mail, please get rid of the animated image and the motivational quote at the end of your e-mail.

Mr. or Mrs.?

If you're going to use honorific (Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc.) in your e-mail, be sure you know the gender of the recipient. If you are unsure of the gender, re-write that part to not include it. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, or just plain-old Google to identify the gender of the recipient if you are unsure.  When you send an e-mail to Matt but address it to Mrs. Beckwith, I notice it right away.

Bring back the pronoun

I like Twitter, I really do, but I blame it for the demise of the pronoun. I have no evidence that the 140 character limit is the cause, but it seems that over the last several years (coincidently the time that Twitter came into existence) the pronoun is starting to become less common in writing. As a refresher, pronouns are words like I, me, we, us, and they. It is not too difficult to change "Met with William Smith last night. Said should reach out" to "I met William Smith last night. He suggested I contact you".

Now, for the more.

Take notes

I spoke with someone this week that I had previously interviewed. Although he was a strong candidate I did not offer him the job. When I ran into him this week he asked how things were back at work, he specifically asked about my needs at the time we met several months ago. Of course I asked how he remembered. "I jotted down some notes", he said. Smart move. He understands that the only reason people get hired is to solve a problem and remembering the problem months later is a great way to show his focus.

Ask for future time

A recently unemployed former co-worker called me this week to say hello and to see if I could help her brainstorm companies to target in her job search. Rather than putting me on the spot, she asked if I had 15 or 20 minutes sometime next week or the week after that. She showed respect for my time by asking for time in the future. I actually had time for just a couple of days later and had a great and productive conversation then.

Have a great weekend. And since it's Friday, don't forget, you can actually start your job search at the end of the week.