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Little Miss Congeniality

May 15, 2009

Anyone who knows me knows that poor customer service is something that I cannot and will not tolerate.  See my previous blog regarding my annoyance regarding a particularly poor customer service experience and you will see what I mean.  This weekend I had a conversation with some friends and family regarding my passion for customer service and gained some additional insight.  My revelation:  Customer service goes both ways.  Yes it is the responsibility of a company’s employees to provide great service however they are much more likely to go above and beyond for a customer that is polite and pleasant.  The “Treat others the way you want to be treated” rule most definitely applies in customer service situations.  Making the extra effort to thank individuals in thankless positions makes a great impression and often prompts more attentive service.  Truly, it pays to be nice.

What does this have to do with a job seeker trying to land a great position?  Well, think about it.  A serious job seeker should have a plan and that plan most likely includes an aggressive application, interview and follow-up effort.  Well, this strategic effort only works if you keep a positive attitude and unwavering professionalism in mind.  One of the biggest mistakes a job seeker can make is not treating every person they contact with the highest levels of respect and consideration.


I’d like to share with you a personal story about a time when my passion for customer service and professionalism worked in my favor while job searching.  I once had a job doing cold calling for a company that had a husband and wife duo as the owners.  A few weeks into my job I was told one of the main reasons I was offered the job was because the moment I walked in for my interview, I had a smile on my face and treated everyone in the office including the woman at the front desk with respect.  From that part-time job came a great lesson:  It turns out that the woman at the front desk was one of the owners.  She was used to being overlooked because anyone coming into the office assumed she was just another employee.  When her position within the company was revealed she still didn’t get as much respect because visitors assumed her husband was the decision maker when in fact she ran the office and did all of the hiring.  So I learned from this positive experience to treat the person who answers the phone or does the greeting at the front desk like the owner of the company because they very well could be that key decision maker.  That front line person might have a little pull (or all the pull) within the company to put in a great word for you about your positive and professional demeanor and land you that job.

So, like I said earlier, it pays to be nice.  Putting in the extra attempt to smile, say thank you, and be an all around positive person in all situations is worth the effort.  Willingness to display that energy speaks volumes about you as a person and just may be the extra push needed to secure a job you love.

Feel free to email me at and check out Herzing University Online at

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