4 Ways to Be An Attractive Hire

Posted September 02, 2014 by
Successful applicant holding her document files

Successful applicant holding her document files. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

No one needs to tell you that the current job market is ultra-competitive. Executives are finding themselves unemployed or underemployed, while new graduates are having a tough time just getting noticed. Here are four ways to get a hiring manager’s attention, from writing your résumé to signing your offer letter.

Craft a Stand-Out Resume

Your résumé is your first impression and you want it to tell an impressive story, but keep it short and simple. Most managers scan a résumé in about ten seconds, so you’ll want to use bullet lists for job duties and accomplishments. Additionally, limit the length to one page.

You’ll also want to highlight any advanced degrees, like an online emba. Employers are especially impressed with the time management skills and committment it takes to juggle a job and a family while completing additional training. If you’re considering enrolling in an advanced degree program, do it. It’s a smart way to separate yourself from the pack.

“Google Proof” Yourself

Almost every hiring manager will Google you, whether you’re looking for a job in the mail room or the corner office. Be sure that you turn on the proper Facebook privacy settings if you have photos you’d rather not share with the world. Better yet, delete them altogether. However, don’t erase your online presence entirely. HR professionals want to see that you’ve contributed something to someone, like a professional organization, a charity, or even a personal blog. Make sure your online brand is one that you (and potential employers) will be proud of.

Impress at the Interview

Most of the time, it’s the interview that gets you the job. This is where you need to sell your expertise and let your personality shine. Get off to a great start with a smile, eye-contact, and a firm handshake. When answering questions about previous jobs, be sure to use concrete examples of your success.

An interview is not a one-way conversation, hiring managers expect you to ask questions. Research the company thoroughly, so you can ask intelligent questions. Consider discussing the workplace culture or what the short-term expectations are for the position. Lastly, always send a same-day thank you email after your interview.

Choose Your References Wisely

If you’ve made it to the interview stage, chances are good that there are only a few candidates up for the job. If HR is considering more than one candidate after the interview, your references may play a significant role in the final decision. Be sure to choose someone who has worked with you in a professional capacity and someone who HR will respect, like a supervisor or a department head. Pick people who want to see you succeed and will highlight your strengths.

Don’t have blind faith in your references, reach out to each one before enlisting their help. Be sure that your references are comfortable advocating for you.

Use these four tips and soon hiring managers will see you as the qualified and competent candidate they’ve been searching for.

Author Bio:

Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. You can find Joe on Twitter at @joey_fort.

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