10/13/2019 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Rule #1: Respond!

Cursor clicks Reply on email

As a follow up to our post about logging into CandidateConnect and checking the Message Center often, we want to emphasize another critically important practice: responding.

In today's busy world of digital communications, smart devices, social media, and short attention spans, it has becoming increasingly difficult to manage the hundreds of emails we receive. We’ve all missed an email or two. It can happen easily: it’s a busy day, and that all-important message you wanted to take the time to answer shuffles further and further down your inbox, until you’ve forgotten it even exists.

The repercussions of most missed messages are relatively harmless, yielding perhaps a need to reschedule an appointment or a slightly annoyed friend. When you miss or don't respond to an email from a hiring contact at a school, though, it can be damaging for your career.

When you receive a message — whether via email, phone, or CandidateConnect—from a hiring contact, you need to respond to that message promptly, regardless of if you're interested in the position or not. This is particularly true, of course, if you are interested in the position, but you should always respond — even if it's just to let the school know you're going in a different direction with your search.

It has become the norm to simply ignore a message from someone if we're not interested in what they're asking or offering. But this is not how you should operate in terms of your communication with schools.

1. By ignoring messages from schools, you're sending a signal to them that your time is more important than theirs.

This is especially true during the busy independent school hiring months from around January to May as schools are trying to wrap up their open positions before summer, and keeping them in the dark while they're waiting to hear back from you is frustrating.

2. By not responding, you also risk earning negative sentiment from that hiring contact or the school as a whole.

Even if you’re wholly uninterested in a particular job or school, we strongly recommend that you send some sort of prompt and polite reply to their outreach. It can be short and to the point – almost anything is better than nothing! Aside from it simply being the right thing to do, you never know who is connected to whom. You might also be interested in revisiting opportunities at that same school later down the line.

Etiquette goes a long way in your job search, and it's expected at every step of the process. Just as you want to put your best foot forward while on a campus visit or in an interview, you want to make the same effort in your communication with schools. There are many things you can do throughout the course of the year to improve your odds of attaining a job – prompt and courteous communication is definitely at the of the list!

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