How do you make a potential employer fall in love with you? Here’s the answer short and sweet? Be what the employer needs.
I know the job seeker-hiring manager mating dance well. I write resumes for job seekers and coach them through the job search. I know hiring managers from my work as a business coach. If you thought it was hard to impress that cute boy or girl in high school, it’s nothing compared to catching the attention of a hiring manager. That dating pool is big and the hiring manager is busy. You’ve got a couple of minutes to catch his or her eye with your resume and first impressions count in the interview.
- Your resume has to be good. Really good. That means well written, clean, clear, concise and no mistakes. Use more accomplishment statements than job duties. Include a profile at the top that showcases your applicable qualifications. The body of the resume is the back up for the profile. No doubt about it, writing your own resume is difficult. That’s why you’ve been putting it off, isn’t it? Enlist the aid of a friend – or a professional resume writer – to help you formulate your accomplishments as well as to cross out those endless job duties you think should be included. To get an idea of format, see a before and after resume sample at resumes2impress.com.
- Target your cover letter or email message that accompanies your résumé to the job. Follow this template. In the first paragraph you make the connection. Did a friend or colleague suggest you apply? Use it. In the middle paragraph, show how your qualifications match the job requirements. Close with a statement about looking forward to talking to them. It’s short.
- In the interview hiring managers want to be sold. If that’s a scary thought for you, I understand it can be. If you respond to that challenge with, “That’s easy for me”, you may think you can wing it. You can’t. Selling yourself does not mean hard sell, nor does it mean being too shy. It’s a balance. Think of it this way: your job is simply to make it clear that you CAN do the job, you WILL do the job and to show them you’re a FIT. Imbue your answers with the passion and enthusiasm you naturally have for your work and for people and you’re in. Can-Will-Fit is at the top of the list of ways to prove to the prospective employer you have what she needs.
- “Can” is easy. Use stories that show you at work. Make it personal.
- “Will” means showing you will do the job; you have a good work ethic, a good attitude and passion for your work.
- The hiring manager will be constantly, and mostly unconsciously, gauging your “Fit” with her, her people and the organization. You will be qualifying them too. If you’re not a fit, you’re not. Accept it. You are who you are. Keep looking. Continue learning how to make the employer fall in love with you. Keep smiling. You’re going to hear, “You’re hired!” before you know it.
Getting a job takes effort. When you’re avoiding working on job search think of this: “Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”
- For your résumé as well as for interviewing, prepare three to five P-A-R stories.
- To better understand what it means to sell yourself in the interview (and life), read Daniel H. Pink’s, “To Sell is Human”.
- Practice for the interview by googling “typical interview questions” and “top 5 interview questions.” You may not be asked any of them but the practice will get you ready to think on your feet.
- Become more aware of your body language. Watch Amy J. Cuddy’s Ted Talk. [ted id=1569]