But how can you know if you've arrested your career development? LearnVest editor Carrie Sloan has a few ideas:
Consciously or not, hiring managers average out their ratings of applicants over the course of the day—so you want to be the first one in.
"Talking over your interviewer is the biggest mistake that interview candidates don't realize they're making," career development coach Stacey Hawley tells LearnVest.
Interview jitters cause the un-gift of gab, she says, leading candidates to talk over their interviewers. That nervousness nips any chance of active listening, making for a boring, one-sided conversation—the kind that doesn't lead to the interviewer investing in you.
No one wants to hear how much your last job sucked. But if you are going to criticize your last gig, sketch out the organizational roadblocks that led to dysfunction—as we've noted before—rather than carping about how much you hated your boss.
The cover letter primes the interview. Hawley, the career coach, says that a cover letter should link your stellar work history to the potential gig and show how much you know about the company and how you can enhance it—without, we may add, being a boilerplate career recap or weirdly direct confessional.
We tend to get anxious around salary talks when they come up, Hawley says, which can lead us to blurting out our best guess (or hope) of potential pay.
A better play is to let an open-ended inquiry like "What range do you have in mind?" hang in the air and wait for them to answer, she says—and doing your compensation research ahead of time will help, too.
No matter how qualified you are, the person that hires you is still doing you an act of kindness. To help get you there, Hawley says to follow up with a personal, non-formulaic note or email—another sign of how graciousness is a part of a growing career.
[Image: Flickr user Scott Hendo]