Staff Perm LLC | One Galleria Tower | 13355 Noel Rd. Suite 1100 | Dallas, TX 75240
Is your best skill, selling yourself?
Are you good at selling your experience?
If you don’t do it, then you can be sure that no one else will. Most of us understand this, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all comfortable with it. There is no need to bloat your accomplishments or make false claims, but there is every need to paint the best picture of yourself. If you’re feeling apprehensive about this, remember, it’s not bragging if you have done it.
Apply to fewer jobs.
Job aggregators have made it easy to send your resume in 100 different directions. And that is exactly why the stack of resumes is so high for that job you want. Everyone is sending out the same resume to every job they can find. Slow down. Focus on a few jobs that you actually want and best suit your skills and experience. Then tailor everything about your resume and cover letter to each specific job.
Cater your resume to each job you apply for.
A general resume does not work today no matter what your skill set is. You should target the job you want and then make sure your resume reflects your past experience. Staff Perm recruiters can help you with this. They know that you can’t possibly write everything you do on a daily basis. We can help by asking probing questions that matter to the hiring manager. Never give this answer “its on my resume”. The hiring managers spend 2 minutes on average reviewing a resume. If the skills they are looking for don’t “jump off the page” you can bet your resume is the next basketball for the hoop on the back of the door.
Set yourself apart from everyone else.
Preparation is the number one thing that will set you apart from other candidates. Want to be more impressive? Prepare more. If you are obsessed with preparing for every aspect of the interview, then you will be ready to crush it. It also means more than spending 5 minutes on their website. Here are some winning ideas: review website, company info, current stock rate, press releases, company events and LinkedIn profiles of key employees. Do this each day for a few minutes to let it absorb. Crash course studying hasn’t changed since your college days. You will forget this too!
Why do you want this job?
Yes, you want a job so that you can pay for your lifestyle. But what are your underlying motivations? Why are you driven towards this job? Why are you passionate about this position? How do your values match the values you will need to do your job? This is a deep question and if you know the answer to it, then you will understand what drives a lot of the answers you will give during the interview. You’ll have a better idea of why you’re a good fit for the job … and that makes it easier for you to tell the hiring manger why you would be a good candidate.
Show them that you are a good culture fit.
Interviewers are looking for qualified candidates and people who fit in well with their community and culture. They want to be able to trust you, so show them that you display values that are consistent with their group. The hiring manager’s reputation depends on being able to select the right talent for the organization. 50% of the selection process depends on this!
Create a “I can handle it” list.
If you can convince the hiring manager that you can handle the job, then you’ll have a much better chance of getting the job. Print out the list of required skills and experience that comes with the job. Next to each item, write down an experience you have had that is relevant. It doesn’t need to be a perfect match… just an experience that proves that you can handle the task. This is also a good place to look for stories from your personal life or previous work that match up well with the “I can handle it” list. It’s a great way to keep your stories relevant to the position. The hiring managers want to make a good call because their reputation is on the line. You need to ease their fears and show them that you can handle the position.
Own your online reputation.
Everyone going through the job process is going to have their name searched. You don’t need to be an Internet superstar, but it’s a good idea to have an online presence that puts decision makers at ease. You either need to be comfortable with having the hiring manager reading your tweets and browsing your Facebook pictures or you need to adjust your privacy settings so that those areas are hidden. Some people provide a lot of value through social media, so perhaps they want hiring managers to see that. It doesn’t matter which method you choose, but make sure it’s a conscious decision. This is one area of the job process that actually is under your control, so it would be silly to not take responsibility for it.
If you’re a real professional, then your cell phone and home phone will have professional sounding messages. It’s ok if your home message says that “Johnny, Bonnie and Ronnie” are out at the moment. But you can’t have messages like “Yo, Yo Yo leave your digits if you expect a return call”. Some opinions are implanted before you get to the interview. Make sure it a good one.
Do as many practice interviews as you can.
It’s not fun — and it might even be more awkward than the real interview — but doing practice interviews with friends, family, or others is a critical piece of the puzzle. You need feedback not just on your responses, but also on body language, tone, and approach. You’ll never know how your answers need to change unless you deliver them a few times.
Hiring managers usually ask questions related to five categories.
a) Your background, so that they can understand your experiences, education, and overall qualifications.
b) Your knowledge of the job, so that they can test your understanding of the position, their company, and the industry.
c) Your personality, so that they can understand your work style and social style and decide if that fits in with their company.
d) Your skills, so that they can get an idea of your abilities and test your knowledge and competency for the job.
e) Your future goals, so that they can get an idea of your career aspirations and determine how motivated you will be in the position.