Written by Abby Kohut
I'm sure by now you've heard at least one person remind you not to burn bridges, either personally or professionally. As I reflected on this bridge burning concept, I realized that during a job search, it becomes even more important that playing by the rules is a necessity.
Here are several ways to avoid burning bridges:
- After an interview, always send a thank you note, regardless of whether you are interested in the position or not. The person you meet may think of other opportunities that you are better suited for you after you leave their office. Leaving the relationship on good terms will serve you well.
- If you ask someone to refer you to a Hiring Manager via LinkedIn or via general networking, always follow up with the person to thank them. People who do nice things for you like to be thanked at the onset but also like to know the results of the referral.
- Always say what you are going to do and then do it. If you say that you are going to follow up, do it. If you say that you are going to call at 3PM, do it. If you are late or need to cancel the appointment, it's fine, as long as you provide a reason. People understand when things come up.
- If people are helping you with your job search, thank them as often as possible. If you have a coach, a mentor, a networking group leader or just an expert in your field, remind them how much of a difference they are making in your life. That will only encourage them to help you and others even more.
- Stay in touch with the people that you plan to use as references. Don't wait until you need them to call them. Make sure that you don't take advantage of the relationship.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Networking is about building new bridges. Strive to meet new people in every situation you encounter. However, don't neglect the people that you already know. While it is important to build strong relationships with people you meet that can help you with your job search, you should realize that you don't know who is going to ultimately be the person who gets you hired. Building strong bridges rather than burning them is the key to your success.