Beat the Deadline

By, 05/13/2014

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” Some attribute this quote to William Shakespeare, but whoever said it knew this truth: deadlines matter. Whether it’s responding to a job posting, submitting paperwork, or replying to a recruiter, timeliness is vital. Think of it from the company’s point of view: they’re trying to fill an empty position. This position theoretically adds value for the business—its vacancy means no value-add plus the cost of company resources to fill the role. It’s in their interest to hire someone in a timely manner, and if you don’t respond by their deadline, they may move on to other candidates who did.

And more relevant to the individual job applicant, meeting deadlines is among the first impressions you’ll make on a company. Making a deadline doesn’t help you—that’s a general expectation—but missing one definitely hurts you. What does it tell the hiring manager if you turn in paperwork a day or two late after requested? Is it a harbinger of future behavior? Job applicants deal with enough challenges—be on time (or early!) and don’t give them a reason to doubt their decision to talk to you.