Why A New Shirt Could Land You A Job

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A friend of mine wrote with good news yesterday. After seven months of unemployment after a layoff, he landed a job back in his field of IT services. Better yet, he got two job offers plus several job bites in one week! As he states:

"This is simply unbelievable. After a long dry spell...

I received a call on Monday with Job offer #1
Email yesterday with Job offer #2 (post phone interview and after 2 rounds of face to face interviews)
Call yesterday to interview at a different job.
Call today to schedule a Face to face after 2 rounds of phone interviews for employer #4.
Call today to schedule a Face to face with HR for a position with a 5th employer. Passed

What created the sudden shift for him? Is it just that when it rains, it pours, or that the slight improvement in the economy opened up new possibilities? Perhaps, but more likely his change in fortune is due to alternative tactics he tested in his own job hunt. As he notes:

"I changed my strategy recently and immediately saw an increase in activity from potential employers."

Here are three of his strategic tweaks, in his own words.

Tweak 1: Followup Letters.

"In addition to the typical cover letters and thank you letters, I started sending additional follow-up letters, starting approximately one week after the initial application submission," he states. "My intent was to make my application stand out after the initial influx of applicants. Likewise, with the thank you letters I was looking for a way to stand out after sending the initial thank you. The follow up thank you letters (several) gave me the opportunity to reiterate my interest in the position and highlight additional attributes that could get me a second look."

>> Related Article:How I Landed a Great Job in Five Months after Age 50

Tweak 2: Highlighted Recommendations

Like many job applicants, my friend solicited recommendations on LinkedIn. But, instead of waiting for the recommendations to be discovered, he actively sent links to prospective employers in his followup correspondence. He writes: "I provided a hyperlink to hiring managers, inviting them to review my profile and recommendations. It was not uncommon to see that my LinkedIn profile was viewed by those individuals shortly after sending the follow-up letters."

>>Related Article:4 Tips to Give Your Resume a Facelift

Tweak 3: A Wardrobe Color Punch

"Did I mention I also changed my interview outfit from a dark suit, white shirt and tie to dark suit, blue shirt and tie?" he wrote. When all was said and done, he quipped, "I think that was it."

He's not mistaken. Employers like to see people who are modern, bright, passionate and interesting. A white shirt can imply that someone is "old fashioned, buttoned up, and not colorful."

Certainly a blue shirt will not make or break a job interview, but it goes to show that every little tactic counts from followup letters, to recommendations to showing a bit of your colorful personality.

Stuck with no bites on your job hunting efforts? What are three small changes you can make to test new bait? It might be a spruce of color on your resume, a resume addendum, a followup letter, or an improved LInkedIn summary. And, once you land the interview, don't forget perhaps just to spruce up your shirt, tie or accessory!
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