Thursday, February 11, 2010

Your Job Search: Closing the Sale

I participated as moderator earlier this week for the Publicity Club of New England's "Career Program." A stellar panel of experts representing executive search, in-house recruiting, and search consultation/advice kept the audience of nearly 50 spellbound for more than an hour.

I came away having learned way more than I expected but one comment by Priscilla Claman, president of Career Strategies, Inc., really stuck with me.

At the end of an information-packed give-and-take session covering everything from the current state of the business for public relations professionals to tips on networking to "I'm a college student and don't have job-specific writing samples; what should I send when requested?", Priscilla asked...and I have to paraphrase here as I was standing at a podium with no writing material at hand..."When you've finished your interview and provided all the pertinent information, have you 'closed the sale'?"

An excellent question/strong hint that I see more in the omission than the act. I can't say how many of my Communication students at Curry College (and professionals, for that matter) say something to the effect of "I sent my information in and had an interview, but I haven't heard anything since."

Well, maybe you did...and maybe they'll call back. But how serious are you about this job possibility? If I've interviewed 20-plus candidates for a job and am in the "who's the best?" phase of the weeding out process, I need a cue from you on your interest level.

A follow-up phone call...we've met, so you're no longer a good start. An email follow-up expressing your interest and asking what's the next step in the process works.

Give me a sign that you're as interested in me as I should be in you! Close the sale!!

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