As a former hiring manager at several consulting firms, I often wondered if candidates were aware of the impression they were making on employers. Even small things like the frown an applicant showed upon arriving for an interview or the worn jeans of an applicant in a room full of suits gave me pause as I worked to screen candidates.
Ironically, most of the problems I noticed could easily be fixed by taking care of seemingly minor issues. In some cases, these corrections would be the difference between hiring a job candidate and passing on an applicant.
Here are 10 “little” things that make a big difference to hiring managers during the interview process:
1. Your digital identity
Yes, recruiters and hiring managers will check your LinkedIn presence and verify that your Facebook and Instagram activity does not violate their corporate policies. But have you stopped to think about your tweets or the content you create on TikTok?
Even the most realistic employer should evaluate your responsibility as a possible new job. Therefore, your online activity should be sufficiently polished and presentable to a potential company long before you enter the job market.
If you’ve maintained a website about your late-night gaming habit or constantly tweet your distaste for political candidates, these elements may offend hiring managers and make them reconsider bringing you in for an interview.
2. Your honesty
Struggling to cover employment gaps in your work history on your resume? Not mentioning that new job you just took (it doesn’t work)? A white lie or sin of omission on your resume and interviews will come back to haunt you in more ways than one.
If interviewers don’t catch lies during the resume screening process, there’s still a chance your background check will uncover anything. Even after you’re hired, your impeccable service record won’t make up for the less than stellar stories on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
Stories that come from senior executives, entertainment professionals, and sports coaches who attended college but didn’t graduate and who paid off with these resume details years later.
3. Your availability
Are you open enough on LinkedIn for others to connect with you? Or forgot to make your email address (and possibly mobile number) visible to other users? Here are some best practices to ensure you’re more accessible on LinkedIn:
- From the Edit Profile menu, look under the Edit Contact Information box with your name and title. Here you can fill in your e-mail address. address and phone number.
- Joining groups is also an important step in becoming available to employers. Sharing a group with another user means they can connect with you for free (important for recruiters maximizing their LinkedIn budgets).
4. Job search tracking
Submitted a resume but didn’t take any action other than clicking the Submit button? If you haven’t spent some time following up or identifying company insiders for further networking, your job search will take longer.
Doing your homework on the employer’s business needs and identifying key people for personal follow-up (via LinkedIn or an online search) shows that you are genuinely interested in the career opportunity and have put thought into solving their business problems.
Be sure to use official channels when applying for a job posting. Then reach out to your newfound contacts to reiterate your interest in joining the company. Better yet, connect and contact employees at the companies on your interview list before you start looking for jobs. That way, you’ll already have connections at those companies when it’s time to apply.
5. The tone of your cover letter or LinkedIn message
LinkedIn messages or cover letters at top speed with just a few tweaks here and there. Hiring managers can smell a “form letter” a mile away. Nothing says “I’m desperate and don’t care about your needs” like a disjointed cover letter or a LinkedIn message just asking for a job.
Regardless of how you communicate with employers, take the time to write a valuable custom branding message to help them discover who you are, what you offer, and why you’re interested in a position at their company. . This means customizing every LinkedIn message and writing disruptive cover letters.
You may not be able to churn them out as quickly, but you will sacrifice quantity for quality. And when looking for a job, it’s quality always is better than quantity.
6. Your behavior when arranging the interview
When organizing any type of business meeting, coordination requires a certain amount of give and take. No matter how in-demand your skills may be, you are expected to agree to the interview time and location parameters set by employers. That might mean dealing with less-than-helpful receptionists or HR staff, all of whom will be taking notes on your feedback.
Your telephone etiquette and email communications will be closely monitored; A polite and respectful tone will go miles to boost your personal brand and potential as a job candidate.
7. Your assessment of the interviewer
Do you feel that your interviewer is younger, more inexperienced, or seems below you in the professional hierarchy? Be careful how you convey this displeasure. You may believe you’re hiding these feelings, but as one of those younger-looking interviewers, I often pick up on this tone very quickly.
Even if you decide in the middle of the interview that you are not interested in the company, remember to show a high degree of professionalism. You never know how well your interview will connect.
8. At your discretion
Polarizing, hot topics like politics or religion should be left out of your resume, LinkedIn profile, interview discussions, and side conversations.
No matter how neutral or popular you think your stance on these topics is, there is bound to be someone who disagrees with you and votes against hiring you.
9. Your actions after the interview
Yes, you should send a thank you letter to employers after your interviews. Whether it’s a short, handwritten card, a LinkedIn message, an email. a letter or even a printed letter, A thank you letter gives employers the impression that you are a gracious and grateful job candidate.
A post-interview note can also be used to address lingering questions, to counter potential objections (“Regarding our discussion of your new western region, I can assure you that I am used to handling accounts personally for maximum effect, and therefore open trip”), or mention a fond memory you had from your experience (such as a conversation) to emphasize your connection with individuals at the company.
Be sure to address your notes to each person you met during the interview (or at least mention their names in the note), especially if you met with a panel or group.
10. Frequency of Your Messages
Just because social media allows you to send messages faster than ever, doesn’t mean you have to piss off employers. Following up once or twice after applying should be enough to let them know you’re still interested in the position. The same goes for the post-interview period.
Hiring managers must manage companies and clients to serve you in addition to the selection process. They may also have other candidates to consider. Staying on the employer’s radar is important, but so is professional discretion. In your next activity, aim somewhere between silence and exploration.
There are many ways employers can be put off by your job search practices or approach. Make sure you take steps to meet their need for information and put your best professional foot forward.
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This article was originally published on an earlier date.
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