From time to time I have to hire new members for my team, which is always an interesting process. Over the years I have seen some amazing applicants, and also some not so stellar ones. So, this week I thought I would share some thoughts on what myself and others look for when hiring.
At one point or another we all have to either create or update our resumes and enter the job market. The resume is the first thing a prospective employer sees from you. Use this opportunity to make your first impression a good one. Above all, proofread your resume! A carefully chosen color scheme and accompanying font choice can make a world of difference aesthetically. But if there are spelling or grammatical errors in your resume, these seemingly simple mistakes can send the message that you do not pay attention to detail.
Another rule of thumb; do not use an Office template. If you must use a template, be sure to change it up and make it your own. When designing and writing a resume, the goal is to stand out from the mass of paper on a potential employer’s desk. Another thing you should add to your resume is a cover letter. This is your chance to tell employers more about yourself, and why they should consider you a strong candidate for the position. Don’t let that chance pass you by.
So, let’s say your resume really wowed the employer, and you got an interview. Congratulations! Here are some tips to winning the committee over. Be sure to have all of your ducks in a row before you go into your interview. Asking, “Now what position is this for?” isn’t professional, and won’t go over well with a hiring committee (believe me- we’ve been on the other side of that one). But this leads me to my first point. Come prepared. Do some research on the company, see what challenges they are facing, and come up with solutions. They know that you can do the job based on your resume; the interview is where you can show the employer how you can help their organization.
Also, take the time to dress up. Look sharp and professional, get a haircut, dry clean your outfit, and look like a million bucks. Studies have shown that if you look good you feel good, and keeping calm during an interview is always a good thing. Finally, most interviewers will end your time with, “Do you have any questions for us?” Yes, you do! Always ask questions. If you did your research, you know what challenges they are facing. If they didn’t ask you a question that allowed you to show off your research, now is a good time to show them. “Hey, I know you’re facing this challenge, and I have some ideas on how to fix it.” Ultimately, don’t say no to the opportunity to ask questions. Instead, use it to show how you can be a benefit to them and their company.
I hope this has helped you in a small part on getting the dream job you have always wanted. Feel free to share your stories of hiring success or failures in the comments below.