It's a crowded field out there, and it's getting more crowded every day. So if you want to be taken seriously as a job-seeker, if you want to strengthen your reputation as a professional, here are 10 "do's" and "don'ts" to keep in mind:
DON'T immediately ask a recruiter if they have any openings in your area
Job searching is about building relationships. If you ask a recruiter right off the top if they have openings in your area, the relationship will hit a brick wall if they don't. Instead, get them interested in you. Build a relationship so you’ll be remembered for future opportunities (which could be next week).
DON'T message recruiters on LinkedIn without reading their profile first
If you ask them a question that can easily be answered by reading their profile, you are making a poor first impression. This should be an automatic first step. Do your own homework before reaching out.
DON'T post the exact same response to every job posting you see on LinkedIn
Recruiters can see your replies and they will assume you're lazy, desperate, or don't really care where you work as long as you get a job. Recruiters want candidates who want to work for their company.
DO follow application instructions to the letter
If you don't, you probably won't be contacted because recruiters will assume that if you can't follow instructions during the application process, you likely can't follow instructions on the job.
DON'T forget proper etiquette and good manners when networking
Common courtesy and professionalism make a great first impression. This includes all the basics - please, thank you, etc. If you don't know much about email etiquette in a professional setting, do some research - it's not the same as texting.
DO get recommendations on your LinkedIn profile
Reach out to former supervisors, peers, and subordinates - their recommendations can be valuable and often provide “proof” of your soft skills, something your resume can’t easily do. Recommendations are pretty much expected on LinkedIn these days.
DO what you say you are going to do
If you say you are going to send your resume within the hour, do it. If you say you will call tomorrow, do it. If you say you will provide written references by the end of the day, do it. Your credibility is on the line.
DO respond to all emails and telephone calls within 24 hours
It’s courteous service (and not just emails from people who are in a position to help you; what goes around, comes around). And thank people in your network who do try to help!
DON'T broadcast on LinkedIn or tell a recruiter how hard your job search has been
Doing so will make them wonder why no one else wants to hire you (and they won’t consider you out of pity). Show confidence, not desperation or cockiness.
DO put yourself in the employer's shoes
If you can think like a recruiter or hiring manager, and understand the hiring process from their point of view, the actions you take will more likely help your credibility than hurt it.
Best of luck!