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You’re Hired!

September 12, 2011

The bad news: The economy is not good and it’s an employer’s market.  The good news: There are some simple ways you can make yourself standout in the search process that will increase your chances of being hired in a highly competitive job market.

I’ve known and know quite a few CEOs, small business owners, have owned a business and have interviewed for jobs myself, so I think that I have a fairly accurate understanding about what an employer is looking for. And, besides a candidate’s objective qualifications, if you were to ask any given interviewer, I’d be willing to bet that they would say that they are looking for someone that they would like to work with – someone they “like.” Remember that both the employee and employer will over time be developing a work relationship.  And, just like a personal relationship, it really helps to respect and like the person you’re working with. So just what do employers “like?” I believe that there are only two things that really matter:

  1. Conscientiousness which is first recognized by the quality and accuracy of your resume. Then when you do land that first interview, how you are dressed and present yourself is critical. Get help and assistance from an objective, professional source and not your BFF who may love you but may also know less than you do. Do research into the field and/or company position you’re applying for so that you’ll look “the part.” Never forget that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. And, then make that critical positive second impression by following up with a hand written note of thanks for the interviewer’s time. Do this for every interview you have with a different person within the organization. This note will also give you another “marketing” opportunity for your qualifications for the position. And, please don’t shoot yourself in the foot: No thank you e-mails or texts (absolutely NOT acceptable!). Write out your note by hand, begin with“Dear”, buy a stamp and drop it in snail mail.
  2. Enthusiasm for the job conveys a positive energy that others find infectious and attractive. It also puts you on their list of “candidates I like and would like to work with.” But this doesn’t mean that you should be over the top – overly animated, perky, etc. as that can be annoying and tiresome. Also, if you aren’t naturally emotive – or “acting” goes against your personality (i.e., you’re more reserved and quiet than outgoing and gregarious) – if you know your “stuff”, there will be a natural enthusiasm that breaks through when the interview discussion is about the job itself.  Sincere enthusiasm during the interview gives you the opportunity to exhibit your passion for, interest in and qualifications for the job.

So there they are: 2 simple thoughts to keep in mind on your job search that will help you stand out from the crowd.  If you are searching now, good luck – you’ll need it. But, I’m firmly convinced that if you earnestly do your part, the right job WILL find you!

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