Manners Matter: Job Search Etiquette

Dear Mary Pat,

I keep trying to tell my son that the job market is very competitive. He’s searching for a new job in his engineering field and he’s frustrated. I didn’t understand it at first either since he has an excellent resume and a very high GPA. After asking him a few questions, I gathered that he was not very responsive to emails and phone messages. If an employer doesn’t hear from a potential candidate (in this case my son) in three days, wouldn’t they assume there is a lack of interest?


Concerned Mom


Dear Concerned Mom,

There are certain jobs that are more competitive, but you should always be very prompt when replying to an interview invitation even if it is to decline. Sad as it is, most of us are very connected to our smartphones, so checking email really isn’t usually that difficult. If your son is in the middle of something such as traveling or working at his current job, he could easily find 30 seconds on a lunch break to respond with a quick note such as:  “Thank you very much for your invitation. Let me take a look at my schedule and I will get back to you shortly.” At the very least, it lets the prospective employer know that your son is interested and that he is responsive. Unless there is a family tragedy or severe illness, three days is too long to respond.

Good luck,

Mary Pat


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