How to Let a Company Know It's Your Top Choice Without Sounding Too Eager

Waiting to hear back about a potential job offer can be brutal, especially when the job seems like the perfect fit. But how do you let a company know it’s your top choice without sliding down the slippery slope of sounding, well, desperate? Read on for some subtle ways to indicate that, for you, this job is “the one.”

1. Opt into the “optional”

Start the whole process off right by submitting all your application materials upfront—even the ones listed in the job description as “optional.” Why? It demonstrates you don’t cut corners, you put in the time and effort to gather documents and information other applicants might not have and provides a more in-depth and well-rounded view of you as a candidate—all of which are considered positives no matter how you look at it. Going all in at the outset is a great way to show the company you’ll continue to go all in if you’re hired.

2. Let them know you really want the job

Nothing says, “I want this job” like saying “I want this job.” It’s a straightforward tactic that works best stated simply—and once only. Be careful not to bring it up constantly or say you’ve basically pinned all your hopes and dreams on getting it but do feel free to mention you’re extremely serious about the position. Employers like to know they’re not wasting their time, and verbally reiterating your commitment can make all the difference. Just be sure you’re authentic—employers love to hear you’re serious about the position but can pick up quite easily on simple flattery—and they won’t be impressed.

3. Know your limits

Obviously, you want to come across as confident and agreeable during your interview. But according to Top Resume, being too agreeable can come across as plain old desperate—a quality that doesn’t appeal to anyone on either side of the hiring process. So, if your potential dream employer begins piling up additional duties that were not originally listed in the job description and would make your job experience miserable, don’t promise to do them! Instead, veer the conversation back toward your strengths or, if those duties are potentially tasks, you’re interested in but simply have no experience in, open the discussion to what kinds of on-the-job training/additional certifications, etc. would be offered.

4. Follow up the old-fashioned way

Sending a thank-you note after an interview is a no-brainer—it reminds the interviewer who you are, demonstrates a general respect for your interviewer’s time, and is a nice—and professional—thing to do. And while doing this via email is perfectly fine, consider sending a handwritten note to your first-choice company. It will certainly stand out from the crowd and adds an extra special little touch that communicates (oh so subtly) that this job is your top priority. As with all professional thank-you notes, be sure to mention one or two specific moments from your interview to help jog the recipient’s memory and remind him or her why you’re the ideal candidate for the job.

Through it all, remember the hiring process can prove to be a complicated beast behind the scenes. Showcasing your best work and following through after the application process will demonstrate to any potential employer, you’re giving it your all, and that’s really all you can do. It’s a fine line to balance between communicating to a company that it’s your top choice and sounding so eager that the feeling comes across as desperation. But enthusiasm can (and should!) absolutely go hand-in-hand with professionalism.

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