Many things keep hiring managers awake at night. Candidates may also be awake, yet fearing very different things. Highlighting their life's accomplishments on a single page or two is a very discouraging process for most. Candidates work hard to ensure their resumes reflect who they are, and capture their character and uniqueness.
Ironically, the details they use to make themselves stand out often have an adverse effect. The ideal situation is one in which candidates can present their qualifications in a nonthreatening way that avoids inciting the hiring manager's fears.
"My future is at stake?" — Employee turnover threatens ours.
The cost to a company to hire, onboard, and train is much more than most realize. Candidates should be careful not to send signals indicating non-permanency, which can exacerbate hiring managers’ fears that those hired may not stay on after they invest. Simple things like out-of-town addresses and long distance area codes can raise flags, as can a reference list comprised entirely of out-of-state references. Candidates who are relocating should include their anticipated address and expected date on their resume. Those in need of a local area code can easily set up a voicemail number with Google. Volunteering, as well as getting involved in local organizations, will provide quality references. Some candidates should also be wary of pronounced regional accents, which can become a constant reminder of personal attachments elsewhere. Be genuine, but aware of your speech. Above all, hiring managers need to be confident that their candidates are solid long-term investments.
"I could really fit in here?" — We hope you can, please show us!
In most instances, companies have a current need, or they would not be interviewing. Depending upon the company, most hiring managers will be looking for a candidate to either fit their current culture or form a new one, sometimes both. Rather than casting a wide net of untailored resumes, good candidates learn more about their target company's needs – not just the fact that they are hiring – and the ideal resume will align with these needs. A "fit" company is one that is happy with itself and its culture. These companies tend to have lower turnover, and are hiring because they are growing or have a recent vacancy. When applying to such a company, candidates must first determine if they like the company's image and personal style, have pride in their products and service, and share similar social circles with employees. Great ways to research fit include reading public relations releases, exploring company websites, and connecting with companies on social media platforms. Candidates who are serious about a job should research the marketing materials available, understand their customer base, and even use LinkedIn to learn about both the existing and former employees. The more a candidate understands the vernacular, the more likely they are to fit it. It should be noted that unless a candidate is applying for a sales or manager-level role, too many strategic goals on a resume can indicate a prospect is difficult to keep satisfied, and as a result, hiring managers may fear their ambitious nature.
"I really am a people person." —Please… PROVE your point.
"Form" companies, on the other hand, are in transition. They represent two extremes: those that are endeavoring to achieve new goals, and those that are impending disasters in danger of folding. Goal-oriented companies are rapidly growing and are looking for an individual that fits the current culture, but also has the capacity to form their direction for the future. When applying to such companies, candidates should prove their immediate and future value in the shaping and sustaining of these goals, as well as include both tactical and strategic skills on their resumes. Avoid soft-descriptor words like dynamic, team-player, and good communicator. It is more important to illustrate a history of change management by quantifiable facts and statistics. However, be wary of failing companies that are looking for candidates who form out of desperation. This may present a challenge for job seekers, especially those in dire financial straits, who apply and may even successfully attain employment with them. If the employment does not last and the company does fold, the experience can ultimately become a negative on a resume. This can become a cycle, but one that is easily broken when recognized through research. Candidates should always inquire about company stability when interviewing.
It's all about Demonstrating Promise
The hiring process is a scary prospect for all. Candidates can greatly increase the outlook of demonstrating their promise by choosing the correct details on their resumes. These details create a comfort level that can make the difference between an honest
interview opportunity and a need to apply elsewhere.
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