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Receptionists and assistants: Your best friends in your job search

Updated on May 31, 2010

Be nice to those people you'll need later

*If you know an office person who does a great job, send him or her this article to show your appreciation.*

Have you ever heard the rumor - or had the experience - that if you want to know what's going on with your medical care during a hospital stay, you need to ask the nurses instead of the doctors? This has generally held true for me ... it is the people who are down there "in the trenches" doing "the dirty work" who really know what is going on and who can help you out. These are the people that make up the backbone of all of the industries that you can think of and they are the ones that you want to go to when you need any sort of assistance or information. These are also the people who can block your access to information or resources, so you don't want to step on their toes. In the medical profession, it may be the nurses, but the theory applies to all fields. For example, if you're in the midst of a job search, you want to make a good impression on the potential employers who are interviewing you but the people you really want to rub the right way are the receptionists and office assistants who truly run the company.

Sure some big head of the company may have the final say as to whether or not you get the job of your dreams, but the many little things which lead up to getting to the point of that person making that final yay or nay actually have very little to do with the individual at the top. Who do you think looks at your resume when it first comes through the door? Who is on the other end of the phone when you're leaving the follow-up message that lets the employer know that you are definitely interested in the job? Who is the person reading off the daily agenda and reminding the boss about which one you were when it's time for your call back to that second interview? It's the receptionist or the personal assistant of the boss who takes care of all of these details. Impress him or her and you're one step closer to the door of your own office. Annoy or upset this person and you have effectively blocked your own entrance into the building.

So what should you do to make sure that the receptionist or assistant at the job that you want is going to have a favorable impression of you. First of all, be nice. People in these job positions often bear the brunt of unkind behavior from others, so it's appreciated when you take the time to be nice. If you're frustrated with something about the company - your resume got lost and you have to re-send it for example - realize that it probably isn't the fault of the receptionist and don't treat him or her as though it is. Say your pleases and thank yous. Remember the person's name and use it. The little things that make the receptionist understand that you know what type of job he or she has and that you appreciate it are the things that will get you in good with him or her.

Being organized when dealing with this individual is also an important key to leaving him or her with a positive impression of you. Organization always looks good, but it has more than just this benefit when working with receptionists and assistants. These people are busy people. They are being pulled in to a million directions at once. They want to know what you want and what they need to do and then they want to get off of the phone with you so they can move on to the next of their many tasks. Don't be curt with them but do be clear and quick. Maintain friendliness with minimal conversation. In effect, do everything that you can to make their job easier and these important people will remember you fondly.

Finally, don't forget these people when you've gotten the job that you so desired. Make it a point to be courteous and friendly to all of the employees in the organization or company for which you work, no matter what level you might be at in the business. From the ground up, it is the people in positions like that of office assistant who are keeping all businesses running. Don't take them for granted.


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