My adherence to the entirety of the M-T playbook during my recent job search was spotty, but I did faithfully stick by this short list of commandments, derived from M-T guidance:
1) by responsive;
2) be nice;
3) offer to help.
Obvious, I know, but it don't always come natural -- I'm 7-1-1-5, if that helps.
For the full six months of searching, I did a respectable job of sticking to those rules. No matter what. No matter what time of day. No matter my mood or personal circumstance. No matter how much an idiot the person I was dealing with appeared. And when I did eventually get an offer... looking back, I'm convinced that those rules are what landed me the job.
I was originally contacted about the opportunity by email, by a recruiter I didn't know from a firm I'd never heard of. In his email he asked me to answer a list of questions and complete a form for his mystery client. I almost didn't respond. But I replied to his email. Answered the questions, completed the form. Asked if there was anything else he needed.
There was. He wanted to talk. He wanted me to talk with other people at his firm. He wanted to talk with me about the technical aspects of the job; he clearly didn't understand the technical aspects of the job. I returned his messages quick as I could. I answered his questions best I knew how. I said, "If there is anything else I can do to help the process, please let me know." I said that a lot.
And to my shock, I got a phone interview with the hiring manager and two members of his team. I thought it went well.
But the recruiter told me they went with somebody else. I didn't ask why. Didn't ask anything. He asked me about a different opportunity -- it wasn't near as attractive as the first opportunity. But I said I was interested. I answered the questions, completed the form. Asked if there was anything else he needed.
And heard nothing at all for two weeks.
One morning my wife and I were in a hotel lobby about to get breakfast. We were in Oklahoma, visiting my dad. We were just about to sit down when my cell phone rang. Not the best time. And I could see from the caller id that it was that same recruiter. But I answered the phone. And I was nice. And I offered to help. And before that very interesting, very busy day was done, I had an offer for the original opportunity. The same job I'd been told went to somebody else.
Turns out, they needed somebody quick, and I was ready to pull the trigger. Right now. I was asked, at one point, if I would be willing to start a day or two earlier than the original start date. I said, "I'll start today if that's what they want." Which is all fine and good, but not very believable if you haven't been responsive, and nice, and willing to help.
Meanwhile, an actionable recommendation.
At one point, when the fur was flying, an HR person who was wanting to email some forms to me in the interest of completing them as quick as possible asked if I could provide a different email address. She believed the yahoo email address I'd given her might delay delivery. I happen to also have a gmail account, so I gave that to her, and we were cooking again. Not a big deal, but had I not had the spare address it would have held us up while I went about creating one. And getting tense meanwhile. Or, worse, asking her why she needed it.
Wasn't smart enough to anticipate it. Just got lucky.
So, for anyone job hunting, I'd recommend having a spare email on a different domain, just in case.