For job seekers, one of the most important items to identify is what hiring managers want to know. Many candidates wax eloquent about themselves, their backgrounds and experiences, but fail to identify the touch points that help indicate their qualifications for the job.
This is a big mistake. Before you apply for any position, keep the following items in mind so you’ll be sure to provide employers with the information they need to decide if you’re a good fit.
Are You Qualified for the Job?
The easiest way to answer this question is to study the job description and to directly address the employer’s needs. Do not create a resume and other marketing documents without first identifying the most important connections between you and the job. Don’t assume hiring managers will give you credit for skills you don’t list. Include details and specifics about accomplishments and results. Don’t just say you have leadership skills. Include something that resulted from your leadership. For example: “Used leadership and management skills to reorganize team, resulting in 15% increase in productivity.”
Do You Demonstrate Good Judgment?
No matter what job you land, you will represent the organization where you work. Employers want to select candidates who are least likely to do anything embarrassing. When one ill-conceived tweet or Facebook post can make the national news, it’s not surprising that employers want to know that you have good common sense. One way to illustrate you’re a good fit is to maintain professional streams of information in your social media profiles. If an employer can review your Twitter feed without any concerns, you’re a step ahead of competition.
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How Well Do You Get Along with Others?
Whether you’ll be working with a team, or connecting with clients and customers, most jobs require working with people. Hiring managers want to know you have strong communication skills and aren’t prone to too much drama. Don’t cause an employer to think otherwise during the application stage by sharing unnecessary personal information or by volunteering details about past bosses or colleagues you didn’t like.
Are You Interested in the Job?
If you’re applying for your dream job, make sure the employer understands why you are well qualified and grasps your passion for the position. While it’s great to hire someone who is a good fit, it’s even better (from the employer’s perspective) to find someone with the skills and a strong interest in the organization and its work. This is especially true for non-profit organizations, where you may have a personal interest in the mission. However, you can also demonstrate a passion about a for-profit company. For example, if you’ve always loved shopping in a particular store because of the customer service you receive there, and there’s a job opportunity that is a good fit for your skills, don’t hesitate to include a few details about your connection to the company when you apply.