When you’re trying to land your dream job, one of the toughest tasks you face is convincing the employer’s hiring manager that you are the right person for it. Understand that, for hiring managers, the stakes are higher than ever. With more people searching for employment, fewer available positions, and a limited hiring budget, these individuals must make every job placement count. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to convince a hiring manager to choose you.
1. MAKE A GOOD 1ST IMPRESSION
First impressions are extremely important. Not only will your first impression influence the way the hiring manager perceives you, but it will also give him an idea of how you will be perceived by the customers and other business connections who interact with you. When you introduce yourself to the hiring manager, be energetic and positive. When the hiring manager asks you to describe yourself, lead with your best characteristics and quantify your achievements. Click here if you need more ideas of ways to make a good first impression.
2. ELIMINATE “RISKY BUSINESS”
Hiring managers don’t want to hire risky candidates. Before applying to any job, perform a Google search on your name to learn what information is available to hiring managers who may search for it. Whenever possible, remove risky content, such as unseemly pictures on Facebook or embarrassing Twitter posts. Clean up and lock down those social profiles BEFORE starting your job hunt. Here’s how.
3. PRACTICE YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS (SERIOUSLY)
Before meeting with the hiring manager, practice your interview skills and prepare for any questions they may ask. Learn everything you can about the company (stalk LinkedIn, Glassdoor, the company website, and their social media pages). Compose your own list of appropriate follow-up questions and practice your answer to that inevitable “tell me about yourself” question. If you come to the interview well prepared and enthusiastic, the hiring manager will view you as a dedicated, responsible job candidate.
4. OFFER SOLID REFERENCES
While listing references on your resume is no longer in vogue and you don’t need to write “references available upon request” on anything, offering solid references when asked is a perfect time to show off. Nothing reassures a hiring manager more than a strong recommendation from a reliable source. When asked, offer the hiring manager correct contact information for several solid references, including past employers, mentors, and others familiar with your skills and experience. Make sure that your references are aware of the impending phone calls, and let them know how important their input will be.
5. BE A SOLUTION
Beyond simply highlighting your own achievements and work ethic during the interview, explain how you can help with the challenges particular to the position you want. Before the interview, know as much about the company and the job as you can. Explain what you can do right away if hired, and how you’re uniquely qualified to do it. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to keep it in mind, particularly during a long series of interviews with different companies. Responding to the unique opportunity in front of you will do more than any resume ever could.