WPMG Consulting

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Job Hunting Etiquette

May 30, 2013 | 1 comment

By Sheena Williams

When you are out looking for a job, there are some things that go unspoken when you’re on the hunt, which is really too bad because they are things that are really basic, but they make a large impact on how you are perceived by future employers. Don’t worry though. We are going to say them out loud so you’ll keep them in mind when looking for a job.

Hand Shaking

This is very important as you only have one chance to make a first impression.  Make sure that you shake with your right hand, and give a firm handshake without squeezing too hard.  A firm handshake communicates confidence while squeezing is seen as aggressive. No cupping the hand when you shake, as it can be seen as condescending. Keep it brief, but long enough for you and the interviewer to introduce yourselves.


When someone enters the room, regardless of the gender, you should stand and greet them. Smile, rise, and greet them with your new-patented handshake and confidently introduce yourself. In the world of work, confidence is key and if you can’t make them believe you’re confident and that you’re right for the job from the get-go, then it’s going to be an uphill climb from there.

Business Cards

Do not pocket the card right away when you are handed one. It appears dismissive. Smile, thank them, and politely take the time to read the card over.  Review it for a few moments. Confirm or ask any pertinent questions while memorizing their name. Then put it away.

Cell Phone

Always silence your cell phone prior to any meeting or perhaps, put it on vibrate. During the interview, what you are trying to accomplish is that you give the impression that nothing is more important then what is going on at that moment. Constantly ringing phones not only interrupt your possible employer, it interrupts the whole interview.

Thank You Notes

Always follow up with a thank you note. This is a good idea for those of you with itchy call fingers.  Not only does it make you stand out, it also leaves your meeting fresh in the employer’s mind without being pushy.  It also keeps you from burning bridges. Even if you decide not to take the job (which can happen), a simple thank you for the opportunity can go a long way.


One of the things that you should have gotten, or at the very least politely asked about, was a length in time in which they would let you know if you got the job.  Do not call everyday afterward. Follow-ups are important, but don’t call until the time frame is up. You want to appear excited about the opportunity, but not annoying to anyone who is still reviewing your resume.


Always dress appropriately for an interview and bring a smile with you. Even if your interview has been scheduled on a casual Friday, dress appropriately anyway. If you are going to get a job digging ditches, dress appropriately for that appointment. You are selling yourself and you are getting the chance to market yourself to someone who is hopefully going to be paying for your skills. You and your resume deserve to be presented in the best possible way.

Voice Mail

If it’s cute, funny, religious, political, suggestive, has kids chanting, or has music in the background… lose it.  It may be great for grandma to hear the kids singing the caroling of the bells for five minutes before she can leave a message, but for an employer, it’s annoying and it’s a waste of time.  Try to keep it short, to the point, and professional.

Phone Calls

Be clear, be confident, be polite, and identify yourself. The first two things that should fall from your lips over the phone should be your name and the reason you are calling or the person you are trying to reach.

Putting the Employer On Hold On the Phone

It is not okay to put a possible employer on hold. If you are getting another call while you are conversing with the employer, it can go into your voice mail. If the employer is calling, that means they are interested in speaking to you. Do not stop the gravy train before it has left the station by putting them on hold because Aunt Flo just had to tell you about what Timmy did last weekend. Those individuals who know that you are on a job hunt will understand when you get back to them.


When going into a new work environment, make it a point to be polite to everyone! That means everyone. If the janitor says hello, you return the hello. If the secretary smiles and asks how your day is, you tell her it’s marvelous. If she just looks you up and down and sniffs, smile and ask how her day is going. You never know who knows who or who is related to whom, or even how close these people are to the person you’re hoping to work for. Not only will they be helpful in getting any information you may need, they are very likely to report any mishaps in your behavior to your future employer. In other words, just be nice, smile and treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Why? Because it’s just the right thing to do!


Now that you’re all prepared for the interview, go out there and get that job! △