How to Score the Job You Really Want
Understanding the Entire Hiring Process
If you really want to score the ideal job, then candidates need to understand how the entire hiring process actually works; It's an art and a science. If you can master the art of submitting yourself and shine in the interview process, it's not at all impossible to get selected over other candidates that have higher education and deeper work experience -- it's all in the presentation!
As a headhunter who makes placements for positions in top-tier companies worldwide, time and again I've been surprised when it comes to the selection methodology in today's age. I regularly see less-experienced job seekers get picked over more-experienced candidates. Here's what many employers are looking for when filling positions of all levels (in no particular order):
- Can-do attitude (optimism)
- Savvy with technology
- Team-player mentality
- Eager to contribute
- Always wanting to learn more
How to Submit Your Resume
The first and most critical part of getting an interview, of course, is submitting your resume. It's such a simple concept, but so many job seekers get it wrong. Here's my advice for how to stand out when it comes to getting selected for a job interview:
Customize your resume: When employers post open jobs online, hundreds or even thousands of candidates are going to submit their resume in hopes of getting selected. In reality, job seekers that may be a perfect fit for the position aren't going to get selected because they haven't customized their resume (based on the job description). Applicants need to use key words and phrases from the job description so that the software that human resource departments use will recognize the submission as something that should be investigated with human eyes.
Don't use an objective statement: Objective statements are often very generic and don't add anything of real value to the application. Moreover, they're outdated and take up valuable real estate at the top of your resume. Instead, use a "summary of qualifications" that gives recruiters an at-a-glance list of your most important skills (ones that match the job description).
Interview Do's and Don'ts
- Arrive about 10 minutes early
- Be respectful to the receptionist that helps you
- Turn off your mobile phone
- Always smile and maintain eye contact
- Be prepared: Do your homework
- Dress professionally and conservatively
- Don't chew gum or eat candy
- Bring copies of your resume and recommendation letters
- Use people's first names when speaking to them
- Show respect: let the interviewer sit down first
Interview Tips for Success
You may be outstanding at your job, but if you don't project confidence in the interview then you probably won't be passed on to the next round of interviews. As unfair as it seems, it's the reality of today's competitive job market. Candidates need to be master marketers and show they have a clearly-defined personal brand.
In contrast, don't exude over-confidence either because nobody likes a cocky candidate. It's a delicate balancing act between the two. When possible, try to find out who you will be interviewing with and see if they have a blog. You may be able to gain some very important insights about their interviewing style.
Using social media
Do employers check your online presence before hiring you?
Show That You're Interested
If you don't show potential employers that you're genuinely interested, then the chances are against your landing the job. So, you ask, how can one show "genuine" interest? Here's how:
- Do in-depth homework on the company and drop those facts during the interview process.
- Understand the goals and objectives of the company.
- Know the company's culture and philosophies.
- Let them know you're willing to "roll up your sleeves" and show you're not afraid to "get your hands dirty".
Body Language Is a Key Factor For Getting Picked
Why Body Language Matters
You may not be aware of your posture or how you're being perceived, but body language matters to employers. Job seekers are often not aware that they may have nervous ticks like fidgeting or licking of lips. Here are some interview tips:
- Rehearse answers exhaustively
- Practice with a friend
- Make a video of yourself and play it back
Are you going the extra mile to score a job?
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Add a LinkedIn Profile to Your Resume Submission
LinkedIn is an incredible marketing tool for job seekers. It's a great way to showcase additional skills you possess that may not be appropriate for your resume. It also shows employers that you're in the modern age and not afraid of technology. Here are some important tips for using LinkedIn in conjunction with your resume:
- When sending resumes online, add a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile at the top of your document's header (under your name) and turn it into a PDF before sending it
- Always use a professional photo on your profile, so only business attire
- Remember that LinkedIn is not a place for express opinions like you would on other social networking sites, so keep it all business
- Don't connect your social profiles to your LinkedIn profile
- Build your connects and ask them for endorsements; The more you have, the greater your marketability and credibility
Thank You Notes Can Get You Hired
When I became a recruiter, it shocked me to learn that so few candidates actually sent thank you notes, and the ones who do rarely do it right. Most job seekers who have the forethought to send a thank you message usually do it by email, so you if send an actual paper note, then it's an old-school technique that I wholeheartedly endorse. Honestly, it shows the employers that you have the kind of integrity and characteristics they are looking for. Here are some tips for making it outstanding:
- Go to a specialty store and get the best ones you can find
- Everyone that you meet should get a thank you note
- Send the notes immediately after you finish the interview