I was surprised to get an email yesterday from a former colleague who said he had not yet heard from a recent graduate I suggested he consider for an entry-level job opening. My recommendation conversation took place two weeks ago, and I encouraged the former student to apply as soon as possible. So, I looped back to the tardy applicant who explained that he’s been traveling (not work related), and he would try to respond yet this week. I was shocked by the nonchalant response, which will net no future referrals.
In this tight-job market, time is of the essence when applying for open positions. I’ve heard many excuses recently regarding tardy response to job postings–ranging from wanting to update a resume, time it takes to write an appropriate cover letter or misplacing the job post. When you hear of a job opening, the time to act is then–not even 24 hours later. Waiting a week or two dramatically reduces your chances of being considered.
During a conversation with an agency recruiter last week, I learned another reason why it is essential to respond sooner than later to job postings. She said her agency has reduced the priod of job postings from two weeks to three days. She said this has turned up fewer resumes, but they are better quality than the ones they traditionally receive at the end of the two-week posting period. We theorized that the better candidates demonstrate their work ethic and ability to turnaround assignments by being among the first to respond.
When you hear about a job, don’t assume it will be there tomorrow–act now, don’t procrastinate.