In today’s job market, everyone’s advice seems to be the same: Be aggressive. Most companies want to hire employees who want to work for them but who also do not come across as desperate. There are several steps involved in the hiring process and we will examine each one in order to understand where that line lies between aggressive and too aggressive.
Let’s begin with your cover letter. This is pretty standard for most positions and helps to demonstrate that you took the time to make this application personal to the apartment community where you are applying.
Do write a cover letter, it is important. It gives your prospective future employer an opportunity to see your writing style, your personality, and your desire to get the job. A good cover letter explains why you are interested in working for the apartment community and how your previous experiences make you a good fit for the job. If you are applying to become an assistant property manager as a move up from a leasing consultant position, talk about your experiences, how you learned from other assistant managers, what you will bring to the position, and why all of those things are good for the apartment community.
Don’t try to sound preachy in your cover letter. While explaining how you can improve the company or what value your experiences may bring, avoid sounding as if there is something wrong with the apartment community. Make sure you sell your talents without sounding as if you know it all!
During the interview, be proactive, interested, and attentive.
Do research the property and the neighborhood so that you are comfortable with the area and possibly the culture of the apartment community. Make sure you have questions in mind that will help you show that you have done your research and that you know the business. For example, if you are applying for a job in Houston or Austin for an apartment groundskeeper position then know the plants that do best in those regions and how to best accent your property.
Don’t criticize. A great example of this would be a person applying for an apartment porter position who says negative things about the landscaping. Even if you think those plants do not work in that area, you may be expressing that opinion to the manager who picked them out. Instead, practice wording suggestions as compliments, “Hibiscus really are beautiful plants for this area, I like to have a few accent ground covers around mine, maybe some trailing purple lantana would really bring out the colors of the flowers.”
Now that the interview is over, it’s time to follow up.
Do follow up! Thank you notes are not completely out of fashion, especially not in the apartment job market. Follow-up calls are also ok. This is a way of letting your prospective employer know that you are still available for work, that you value the time they took to speak with you, and it shows that you are dedicated to getting the position.
Don’t harass. One follow up call is plenty, unless you were asked to call back. You will really come across as desperate and too aggressive if you are calling the property manager’s office every day to see if they have filled the position yet.
You should always be aggressive in your job search, even though it does take a little more time to research, write, and follow-up, it is always well worth it. Just be careful not to cross into an area where you come across as desperate, too aggressive, pushy, or harassing.