Hiring Managers’ Best Tips for Job Seekers
April 21, 2020 1:48 pm
So you need a job? You’ll need to start by impressing the hiring manager, and keep in mind that they see A LOT of resumes and hold A LOT of interviews. So how do you knock their socks off? We asked industry experts to share surefire tips. Here’s what they had to say:
Louis Carter is an organisational psychologist for Fortune 500 companies. His latest book is In Great Company: How To Spark Peak Performance by Creating an Emotionally Connected Workplace (McGraw Hill, 2019) Web: louiscarter.com
Be a student
Impressive candidates research and learn as much information about the company and hiring manager as possible – including its mission, vision, values, and business goals they have made publicly available. After the research phase, the actual impressive candidate should:
- Be mindful of “airtime.” Are they speaking too much and not understanding what is being asked of them?
- Be aware of the body language and eye movements of the interviewer. Is the interviewer interested and engaged? Or are they nodding their head and trying to get to the next question. If they are, it’s time to experiment with a different line of the answer.
- Use mirroring of words and communication styles. When the interviewer makes a comment or begins a dialogue, state it back with some of their own words. People love to hear their own words – and it’s important that you fit with their own language. Chances are the company that has its own lexicon and ways of communicating – and it’s important to pick up on this and practice it in real-time.
- Give value according to what you identify in their questions. Most questions are leading questions – they want you to fill the job – so listen carefully to how you see you can help them and be mindful of areas where you cannot help them. Connect what you know and can do with what they want. The most important thing to remember is that the interviewer very much wants you to have the job. They don’t want to spend another 100 interviews to fill the spot.
If you are the right person, then you will be able to fit the value needed, values of the company, communication style, lexicon needed, and move forward. Your job during that interview is to be a student of the company, and help them help you fill that role.
Simon Nowak – Recruiting specialist and team leader at the company Authority Dental. He worked with over 200 freelancers in the last 24 months alone and recruited over 25 dentists to help the company with content creation on Authority Dental.
Preparation of the message and resume
What attracts my attention is the preparation of the message and resume for the announcement. It’s not about copying and writing the same thing perfectly. If I’m looking for someone who has been involved in intralogistics and building milk-rounds/[recruiting visits to colleges], it’s easier for me to understand when someone writes:
For the last 4 years, I’ve been involved in in-house logistics, with 180 parts produced on-site and 400 parts purchased, held in high-bay warehouses.
I have a picture of how big the company was and whether my responsibilities will be challenging or too easy for that person.
- Read the job advertisement carefully.
- Make sure you have read all the letters, even the small letters and repeat point 1, then go to point 3.
- Think about whether you really want this job or whether it will give you satisfaction.
- Describe your experience, which can help you to do your job.
- Ask a friend to read your document – you may think that the experience is relevant and the person who knows you will be able to check if it is the best fit.
- Stand out – the question is how? You can use infographics if you apply for a creative position – go crazy. It is good to see that a graphic designer or photographer can find their space even in a job application. It gives a chance that they will also be able to prepare a consistent marketing campaign.
- If you’re great at talking on the phone, and the ad provides contact details and your future position will require communication, e.g., with clients on the phone – call me. Say you’re sending documents, ask for something if you don’t find it in the ad, or say you’ll be happy to talk about what you can do for my company during the meeting.
With the current possibilities – people often have one file and send it anywhere. And the recruiter receives several thousand applications for one position. Your application has a few seconds before he decides whether he will read it.
Yaniv Masjedi, CMO at Nextiva
I look for three things when I’m reviewing applications for an open position.
First, I want someone who loves doing what they do. It’s easy to spot when you talk to someone. They should light up when you start asking them questions about their work.
Second, I want someone who consistently takes action—without always waiting to be told what to do or to be given permission. The best people act on their own to move things forward.
Third, I look for people who would be easy to work with. I don’t care how skilled you are, if you’re difficult to be around, you’re going to make all of us less effective.
If I see all three elements, there’s a good chance I’ll strongly consider you for a position on our team.
Corina Burri – Marketing Lead of Ofri, an online service provider directory based in Zürich, Switzerland.
Cover letter and examples
As a line manager, I’ve recruited a handful of marketing positions during the last years. Besides having error-free documents, I have the following hints for job seekers:
- Add a cover letter to your resume. Don’t talk too much about what you’ve achieved, instead point out how your skills will move the company forward. Customize the letter as much as possible.
- In the interview, always underline your replies with examples. For instance, if the interviewer asks you about your strengths, you can say that you’re an organized professional, but then take a real-life example where you put the skill to proof.
Heidi Lynne Kurter
Heidi Lynne Kurter – Workplace Culture Consultant | Leadership Coach (heidilynneco.com)
Hands down, the best way for a candidate to impress me is by doing their research. To expand on this, I like when they do their research on me, the team and the company as a whole—not just a quick gloss over of the company website right before the interview.
When candidates take their time to research the individual they’re interviewing with, it shows they’re interested in seeing how they’ll fit in with the team or the people they work with. Plus, it helps generate conversation where we can connect and learn more about one another outside of the position they’re interviewing for.
Vladimir Gendelman is the Founder and CEO of Company Folders, winner of multiple awards, including making Inc.’s list of 5,000 fastest growing private companies in America for three consecutive years.
Get to the point
The best way to impress me is to get to the point. Explain what value you brought to your current job and what value you can bring to the position for which you are applying. I interviewed a candidate who did this in the first 90 seconds of the interview. I hired her, and she’s been a great asset to my company ever since.
One of the things that impress HR and hiring managers are personalized and well-crafted cover letters and resumes. Investing a little time and creativity while typing out these documents shows that you’re the type of person who’s willing to go the extra mile, compared to those that stick to generic templates. Showing a little personality sends a message to the HR that you’re serious about the job offer and that you’re skilled enough to do it.
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