R-E-S-P-E-C-T

So many of the tips I share come down to one simple concept: respect. Having a genuine respect for the hiring manager or interviewer(s) goes a long way toward keeping you out of the "No" pile. But respect is not just about the words you use or your tone of voice. Let's look at some different ways you show respect when applying for a job.

Following directions. The company took the time to design an application process a particular way. When you ignore that and try to do things your own way or expect them to make an exception for you, you're showing that you don't respect them enough to care how they want things done.

Proofreading your application. There's a reason I call this the indispensable step in every application. When there are glaring typos, incomprehensible sentences, or the wrong person or company's name, it shows a lack of respect for my time. You expect me to read through your application, but you couldn't be bothered to reread it carefully yourself before submitting it?

Tailoring your application to the position. Sending out a generic resume and cover letter to a bunch of job postings doesn't show respect. Why? Because you're essentially saying, "Your company is just like any other company, and this job isn't different from any other job." Take the time to demonstrate that you are qualified for and interested in this position at this organization specifically.

Being on time for interviews. This should be a given, but it's not. If I call for a phone interview and you don't answer, meaning we have to reschedule or I have to stop what I'm doing when you call back later, that's disrespectful of the fact that we made an agreement to talk at a certain time. And it's not just being late that's a problem. If you show up for an in-person interview more than 10 minutes early (I'd even say 5 minutes), you are asking people to accommodate you in their space until they're ready to do the actual interview.

Doing your research. The interviewer has taken the time to prepare for an interview, by reviewing your application, writing out interview questions, and possibly even needing to reserve space for the interview or coordinating with multiple people's schedules. If you come in not knowing the first thing about the organization and not having reviewed the job description, you're indicating that you think your time and energy is more valuable than theirs.

These are very basic steps, and you're not going to land a job simply by virtue of doing this bare minimum. But without respect, you're much less likely to be considered a viable candidate. Keep this in mind as you go through your job search and you'll save yourself from getting cut as easily.