Deeper Thoughts
Some Unsolicited Advice for Job Candidates

Happy New Year to all!

I’m pleased to say that, in spite of market conditions, LodeStar is in a position to actually hire people right now. In fact, we’ve been in the process for weeks. It’s heartbreaking to see and hear about all of the fine professionals in the mortgage industry who’ve had their jobs eliminated in the past year. And, by now, if you’ve been reading this for a while, you know I think that at least some of this is avoidable

But today’s Deeper Thoughts, dear readers, is not exactly about that. 

I’d like to talk a bit about the etiquette of job seeking. I’m pretty particular about what I look for when I’m seeking new team members. Especially when it comes to consumer or client facing positions or sales people.

Don’t go there…

And before anyone has the knee-jerk urge to utter “none of these kids wants to work these days,” keep in mind that I’m a Millennial too

So, with that, some unsolicited advice for job seekers… 

Show me. Don’t tell me.

I always get a little skeptical when someone has to tell me what a good listener they are. Or how generous they are. Or that they know what they’re talking about because they’re a lawyer or doctor.

Same goes for job applicants. Your resume or cover email is the place to speak in the first person. If you get the interview, the resume, email or maybe previous work samples should already demonstrate your talents and strengths.  

In my experience, if a candidate has to say “I’m a fast learner” or “I have good communication skills”, the interview is not going well. These are all things you should be able to demonstrate in your communication with the company as well as your research prior to the interview.

Remember your “Please” and “Thank You” emails

PLEASE send thank you notes following up after the interview. Well under half the applicants I speak with do this and it’s a super easy way to get noticed. Especially for sales and customer facing roles, knowing a candidate is proactive is a huge selling point for them.

I posted this to my LinkedIn profile—always fun to discuss the stuff that never seems to get talked about at conferences or on webinars. And I received some earnest feedback. Todd Costa asked a very fair question: “Do you send personalized messages to each candidate that didn’t get the job?” A very fair question. But not everything in life is fair. Right now, especially, there are a lot of job applicants and more often than not, the hiring business has very little time. That candidate has a very small window of opportunity to win that job. It’s not that I’m insulted if someone doesn’t send a thank you. It’s that the candidate has shown me something else about themselves. 

Brent Emler also commented on my post with a very thoughtful observation. “Customers don’t send a note to sales people they don’t buy from but sales people do follow up. It’s a one way street, fair or not.”

Oh, by the way, yes. I do contact every candidate I speak with, whether the job is theirs or not. 


We at LodeStar are grateful to all of our clients, friends and colleagues who take the time to view Deeper Thoughts. Please consider having a look as well at some of our other great content, including our podcast, “LodeStar’s Lending Leaders,” and A Tale of Two Mortgages: an original webcomic for the mortgage industry, presented by LodeStar.”

As always, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated!