It’s so obvious, people think it’s corny. Always be nice to people. This reader’s story says it all:
I just found a few moments to read one of your recent newsletters – Do they owe me feedback after an interview?” The situation described reminded me of my own experience.
I needed a job. And it was before I knew about Ask the Headhunter – though, as you will see, it made be realize how smart you are when I finally did start reading your columns.
Anyway, I was doing the shotgun thing – sending resumes here, there and everywhere, replying to want-ads, calling old co-workers, even people I didn’t really know. I interviewed one morning with a guy at a contracting firm (call him Mr. M.) who had a lot of people at a large manufacturing company in my city. I knew I wasn’t quite qualified, but I also knew I could learn what I needed to fairly quickly.
But, this guy was having none of that. He proceeded to tell my how weak my resumé was and how extremely uninteresting I was to him. To put it mildly, he could have been a lot nicer. But, I had confidence in my worth. I just shrugged it off and kept looking. I found a short-term contracting gig, and eventually made it to Big Bank with a good, permanent job (where I still work).
Some time later, a funny thing happened. We needed to hire a contractor. My boss handed me two resumés to see what I thought. And, wonder of wonders, one of them was Mr. M’s. (Remember him?) I rejected him immediately. He never knew that, of course, but it does illustrate what can happen. It’s a small world – and an even smaller town.
Now, just so you know, I was honest with my boss. I told her that his qualifications were fine. I also told her the story of the interview. And she said that as important as technical qualifications are, she did not want anyone working for her who would treat people that way. A lesson for all of us.
Yah, corny: What goes around, comes around. It’s a small world. We reap what we sow. You never know who you’ll run into again.
Perhaps Mr. M., brusque though he was, had good reasons for not hiring this reader. But, it seems our reader had good reasons for not hiring Mr. M.
Always be nice to people. It’s a small town.