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When all else fails …

I’ve written about this topic before here and here. However, lately, it seems I need to stress the importance of following instructions, yet again.

I ask clients, usually twice in one email, to confirm time zones when acknowledging appointment times.

~ I frequently have to send follow-up emails to get time zone information needed to make sure appointments go off without a hitch.

I ask clients to email two to three specific appointment day/times to fit their schedule.

~ I receive back a vague “Whatever works for you …” response. This forces a volley of emails back and forth to narrow down what could have been taken care of in one request and one confirmation email.

I ask clients to provided job posting examples of targeted positions, copied and pasted into a Word document. (Putting the information Word documents ensures the information will be available when we’re ready to speak and eliminates the hassle of broken links and password-protected, inaccessible information, on my end.)

~ I receive emails with links to their targets. (BTW: I’m VERY clear in explaining the reasoning behind the copy and paste request when I make it.)

I say, send no more than two or three target examples.

~I receive five or six.

I spend time (lots of time) on the phone when booking clients explaining the importance of focus when creating a resume. I ask clients to narrow their job search goals so we can be laser-focused on company or industry needs and do a solid presentation speaking to those needs.

~I get information about two or three potential targets ranging from retail store manager to brain surgeon (well, OK, maybe not brain surgeon, but you get the idea.)

I ask clients to verify phone numbers on old documents are current so I’m sure to call the correct number at the appointed time.

~I frequently have to send a follow-up emails to confirm contact information.

I could go on … Lest you think I’m a picky, crabby, old curmudgeon, please know, I always go back, multiple times if necessary, to clients. I’m committed to client success and will do what it takes to ensure we have a smooth appointment and I get the information I know I need to craft interview-landing career documents.

Now, if I was a hiring authority, I’ll be honest, it would be a different story. I wouldn’t bother following up with people who can’t follow instructions. Think about it. Would YOU hire someone who did it their own way, when you’ve taken time to spell out what’s needed for successful application? You would probably dismiss the person who’s demonstrated the potential to be a problem from “hello” and move your focus to the people who respect your process and help you help them from the very beginning.

True. Application processes are difficult to navigate. Each company seems to have different procedures and nuances. It’s almost enough to push a job seeker over the edge. But you know what? Frequently, the application process is difficult to help weed out those unable to follow directions from the very beginning. Companies hire solutions to their problems; not more problems. You can work to change things once you’re employed there. Until then, read and FOLLOW the directions. The interview process begins when you hit “send”.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawn Bugni, Job Coach. Job Coach said: RT @DawnBugni: Monday blogging it: "When all else fails …" <–The interview process begins when you hit send. […]

  2. Yup, my friend and we have all seen clients who get it and those who DON’T and the don’t are the ones who stayed unemployed. I love getting the should be patented Dawn Bugni brand of coaching when I need a pep talk, you say it like it is. And at the same time, I always know you care about me… 🙂

  3. Oh don’t get me started on time zones – or people who think it’s ok to call at 11:15 when the call was at 11. I often feel like I spend more time going back and forth on these things than actually doing the work – I often think of adding an “excessive email fee”. 😉

    There’s a funny test about following directions that teachers often hand out – usually only 1 or 2 people will actually follow the instructions. It’s the 2nd post.

  4. Dawn Lennon says:

    This post is just too good. Actually, it made me laugh one of those existential, commiserating angst laughs that feel really good in bizaar kind of way.

    Your examples are priceless and your advice powerful. I too make specific requests that people either don’t read or assume I did’t mean. That tells me a lot about the kind of employees they would be, their ability take direction, their attention to detail, and most of all their sense of obligation to, in this case, their internal customer–you. One would think that a having a partner in job search would demonstrate the importance of collaboration. When it doesn’t, the client needs a wake up call…in all time zones!

    Great post, as always, ~Dawn

  5. Toni37 says:

    You have bring to us a great twist ideas, I will love to share these thing to my friends.

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